Lucian Boia

Central European University Press Budapest

First published in Romanian Istorie ,ri mit in mn,rtiinla mmdneasca'by as HUMANITAS, Bucharest, 1997

n English edition published i 2001 by Central European University Press
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400 West 59" Street New York, NY 10019U USA
An imprint of the Central European University Share Company
Translated by James Christian Brown

English translation copyright 0by James Christian Brown 2001

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THREE YEARS ON: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SECOND ROMANIAN EDITION The Story of a Book Demythologizing? Eminescu The Interwar Years and the Communist Period The Kosovo Syndrome We Are a Nation, Not an Orthodox Nation The Federalist “Threat” From the “Geto-Dacians” to the “Medieval RomanianNation” Opinion Polls The Textbook Scandal What I Believe
INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST EDITION Chapter One HISTORY, IDEOLOGY7MYTHOLOGY The First Entry into Europe Nationalism and Modernization A National Myth: Michael the Brave Different Projects, Different Histories The Glorification of the Past From Romanticism to the Critical School The Junimist Paradigm: Detachment from History The AutochthonistReaction Impossible Objectivity Communist Discourse: The Anti-national Phase Communist Discourse: Recovering thePast Communist Discourse: The Exacerbation of Nationalism

1 1 3

5 6
9 9 12 14 16 19 25 27

31 31 33 39 42 46 51 54 59 63 70 73 77

Chapter Two ORIGINS Some Principles Roman Times Dacians andRomans: A Difficult Synthesis The Dacians GetTheir Own Back Class Struggle in Dacia The Dacian Moment of Communism The Slavs, an Oscillating Presence The Nation: Biological Organism or Social Community? Chapter Three CONTINUITY A Historiographical Paradox: The Area Where the Romanian People Was Formed North and South of Danube: APossible Compromise? the The Consolidation of Romanity North of the Danube The CommunistYears: Ideological Imperatives and Archeological Arguments The Romanian State during the “Dark Millennium” Conclusions: Archeology, Linguistics, Politics and Chapter Four UNITY Transylvanians, Wallachians, Moldaviansor Romanians? ... Rivers and Mountains Historical Unity: Ebb and Re-elaboration Communism: TheMyth of Unity at Its Zenith In Search of the Romanian Soul A Fluid Synthesis Chapter Five THE ROMANIANS AND THE OTHERS ‘We to Whom Foreigners Are Dear.. .” Defenders of the West Separation from the East The French Myth The German “Countermyth” Communist Mythology Post-revolutionary Reference Points Three Sensitive Files:The Gypsies, the Hungarians, and the Jews Friends and Opponents: A Historical Game The Plotagainst Romania The Imperial Temptation

83 83 85 89 96 101 102 106 110

113 113 114 119 121 124 125

129 129 132 133 138 143 149

153 153 155 158 160 162 165 168 170 174 175 177

?” . The Dynastic Myth A Second Dynasty? Feminine Mythology: Queen Marie Interwar Saviors Legionary Mythology From Biilcescu to Gheorghiu-Dej From Burebista to Ceaugescu Chapter Seven AFTER 1989 Rupture or Continuity? Always United? The Methodology of Forgetting The Freedom to Say Anything A Moment Which We Must Getbehind Us: Mythological Blockage CONCLUSION NOTES SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY GLOSSARY INDEX 180 183 184 189 189 191 195 199 200 205 207 210 213 214 219 227 227 230 232 235 236 239 241 259 263 279 . Minorities The Fourth World Power What the “Others” Say about the Romanians Chapter Six THE IDEAL PRINCE Heroes and Saviors The Compositionof the National Pantheon Death to the Boyars: The File on Ioan VodQ ‘‘Why Do You Not Come Back..Competing Rights: Nations. Lord Tepeg. Borders.

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which was broadcast at peakviewingtime on the national television channel. The fact is that at the time no one leapt to my aid. r treatment. but I considered that the text ought to be left unchanged. when. from . just as I saw fit to write it three years ago. The armed forces television program Pro Patm’a (now discontinued) did me the honor of making a veritable “soap opera” out of the issue. I realized then what it means to frnd oneself isolated in such a situation. The students. My aims had been purely professional. even in what I must recognize was a selfcultivated isolation. I was convinced that I was laying myself open to attack on many fronts. Much could have been added. I published the collection Romanian Histon’calMyths in a limited print-run at the Bucharest University Press. I had struck. Military and civilian commentators outdid one another in talking about me (in my absence) in less than pleasant terms. Adversaries are usually quicker off the mark than supporters.Three Years on: an Introduction to the Second Romanian Echtion THE STORY OF A BOOK Only this new introduction distinguishes the second edition from the first. I had never sought to gain cheap publicity or to scandalize public opinion. too. at the foundations of national ideology and Romanian identity-by relativizing what my accusers “knew” full well to be the one and only history of the nation. Just one more step-and a short one at that-and it would have been a matter of high treason. In writing it. The militaryhadbecome a tribunal of historiography: what could be more telling both for theconfusedstate of Romaniandemocracy and for the contempt in which professionalism was held? Some newspapers gave mea s m d a . it would appear. together with my students. the very thesis I had alwayspropounded!-thathistory cannot beisolated from society. after all. had their share of troubles at the hands of certain professors-scarcely to the credit of the latter. I was caught redhanded in my own naivete: I should have known-it was. modifications and refinements could have been made. and the historical and cultural controversies to which it has given rise.itshistory. All the more so as the book has become almost a classic: I have the feeling that it is no longer really my property any more. And I must confess that I had not expected such an uproar. I had had a foretaste only a short time earlier. So I shall rely on this introduction to say all that I havetosay about thebook.

he stresses.” “At last”. It becamethefavoritetopic of discussion . Its praises were sung by personalities of the highest standing in Romanian culture.Whenhostilevoicescouldbeheard at all they weretimid and isolated. Will there be a belated reaction after the elections of 2000. mainly among the younger generation). However. I am not sure if it was entirely to its advantage.in intellectualcircles.” Less enthusiasm was shown by historians (with a few exceptions. The critic insistently repeats these same words: “At last. I was particularly impressed by Mircea Iorgulescu’s article in Dilema (15-21 August 1997. It was not just history that was under discussion but Romanianculture as awhole. and itis easy enough to see why. All I ask them to do is to explain how it is that this scientific and objective history is always different. The critical success I have mentioned was matched by the book‘s success with the general public. It was clear that it responded to a deeply felt need. is ?he most curious thing. which sold out in two years (a considerablefigure for theRomanian book trade). about themselves. I wonder? Such politicizationis. a strange role which I do not. the book had reached even further than I intended.000 copies. Arnong themanyreviewsthe book received. A relativistic perspective on history.andtheRomanians’sense ofwho theywere. under the title “At last!”. which had deprived the forces of aggressive nationalism of the levers of power that they had previously held. “we have the first radical and systematic critique of the Romanian culture of today. exactly?It was. however. But what. according to which history is inevitably seen from the present and is impossibletoseparatefromthesocialandculturalenvironmentinwhichit is produced.Whenpeoplespeak about historytheyarereally speaking about the present. One of the expected-for least me-was the exceptional reception which the present book enjoyed on its first publication i n May 1997. of course. in any case. So much the better: I now had the opportunity to test the degree of social sensitivity to historyby my own experience. and never did. I am not the one who makes history relative! History relative: all I am doing is noting the fact.are proof that Histoy and Myth has itself entered into “Romanian consciousness”. perhaps because of a general strategic withdrawal after the elections of November 1996. Out of the same reticence I appear on television as seldom as possible. the last thing I want. desire for myself. not a partisan intervention. I wrote an honest book about history.2 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS ideologres and politics.Wouldit not bewonderfulif we couldseparatethe book from the author! . Something was not quite right with the history which had been taught for generations. is not the sort of thing llkely to delight professional historians. task the of a historian identify ideologrcal to the pitfalls in our reconstruction of thepast. it remains for me to get used-though I doubt I ever shall-to being a “public figure”. but the book was met with much praise and very little controversy. was the almost complete absence the sort of of attacks which had been so frequent a short time before. Life is full of surprises. They would rather believe in a scientific and objective history-something with which to justify their own professional status. 1 am glad the book has been successful.whichrepeatedlyhighlighted the novelty and the necessity of the project. Four successive print-runs of 9.

however. which has nothing todo with the subtle substance of myth. a word rarely encountered before 1997. the history of the Romanians would appear to havebeenabusively mythologzed. I am not. there is an easy slippage from “myth making” to “my~tification’~. mystified. It is.. possible to mystify on the basis of certain myths-to take advantage of whatpeople like to believe. the leader of a school.” We ought. by mythologizing. of course. This new line of defense is an interesting one.”’ Are we to understand that we do not need intelligent historians-that patriotism is sufficient? To mix things up even more. there are still intransigent upholders of an unblemished Romanian historiography. and vice versa. I am responsible only for what I write and for my own ideas. of their prejudices.Perhaps I have put anendto a state of innocence and raisedquestions which can no longer be avoided.. I for one do not waste my time hunting down lies: I try to unravel the great mythical tendencies which are inherent in the human soul and in theconsciousness of communities. president of the Romanian Academy. defining or illustrating a great belief which animates a people. I havefollowedwith interest. and that at least a few of the new historical-cultural approaches of the last two or three yearscanbetracedback directly or indirectly to thebook. More subtle minds. and often with amazement. Agamst them. however. What is needed is to demystify it and judge it lucidly. .in which everything is true and nothing is mythical. to make a distinction between the two words and concepts. Of course. at therisk of a veritable inflation and a pronounced unscrupulousness the in way it is used. Demythologzers are nowfull in swing. the career of the word myth. and. I like to think that I did not write in vain. because myths are part of the cultural identity of the nation. do notdispute the existence of a dose of mythology: they just say that it is not a good idea to demolish it! Such an attitude is no longer scientific: it is almost mystical. no less active and vehement. None of those who have written in last years the few about myths. Mystification is a crude process (though it can sometimes be an efficient one). deception.THREE YEARS ON: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SECOND ROMANIAN EDITION 3 DEMYTHOLOGIZING? It is not for me to assess the extent to which Histoy atzd M & had an unleashing y role. “is a risky activity. demythologzing and demystification have sought my opinion. which has slipped rapidly from the cover of my book into fashionablecirculation. hopes and illusionsbut it is not permissible to confuse the two concepts. and I do not aspire to be. are arrayed the upholders of national mythology. Thus Eugen Simion sums up my argument in a spirit which I do not recognize as my own: “In short. in whose vision the myths express our Romanian essence and are to be left untouched. while myth is something quite different. and deliberate misinformation. For this reason I feel the need to make two things clear. Mystification is a matter of lying. and indeed there is no reason why they should. “The hunting down of myths”. writes no less a cultural authority than Eugen Simion.

” The Ggument is that we cannot rob people of their illusions. So what are historians to do: knowingly tell a lie. explains Alex Steflanescu. and to carry the idea through to the maximum degree of generalization. rather than animals or robots.2 It wouldbe a goodideaifthe two books were read together. Never for a moment did I propose the abolition of myths: all I wanted was for them to be interpreted historically. a year after History and Myth I published Phying zvith the Part: History between Tmth and Ficttbn. to avoid any confusion.4 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS Firstly. the adaptation. Both sides should have been more moderatein their sorrow or joy. but nor can I. but nor can I understand the antidemytl~olog~zers’ intolerance of an absolutely normal scientific project. . I know we cannot live without myths. deformation. and mythologzing of history is inscribed within a universal typology. There were those who believedthat I had identified it as something peculiar to the Romanians! Hence some were hrious-how could the Romanians be treated with such a lack of respect!-while others rejoiced-at last someone was showing the Romanians the mistakes they had made and the right way forward. I would urge him to relax a little: no one will ever succeed in robbing people of their illusions! Love. critic Alex the Stefuanescu presents the case against rational research myths. do we want an intelligent history or (tospeakeuphemistically)anunintelligent one? Andarewereally incapable of looking from two points of view at the same time. so why not accept it as such? Of course we accept it-indeed do!-but we doesthe author of thearticlethink that the physiological and psychological aspects of attraction between the sexes are not to be spoken of? Are we to tear pages from the anatomy textbook? Do we throw Freud’s works in the bin? This is howAlex Stehescu would have it with the “thousand-year unity” of the Romanians: even if there no such thing in fact. as a historian. and that is sufficient. too. It is not just the Romanians who treat history this way: everybody does it. or evenprimarily. For a long time I havebeendealingwiththe imaginary-notonly. perhaps in inverse order of their publication. lest they awaken the Romanians from their beautifiddream? I do not share the demythologizers’ intolerance of myths. is an illusion. I would like it to be clearly understood that I have not declared war OII myths. both “poetically” and rationally? Must we sacrifice our intelligence to save our poetry? Can we not keep both? In an article entitled “A Fashionable Toy: Demytholog1zing~~3. I do not recall using the concept of demythologizing. It is this that makes us human. while at the same into timeapparently putting all attempts at demythologizing under thesign of my method:“The historianLucianBoiahasrapidlymade a name for himself by submitting the myths of history to an analysis lucid to thepoint of cynicism. but what are we to do then-stop interpreting? Once again. Secondly.with the Romanian historical imagmary-and I am well aware that we cannot live outside the imaginary and mythology. So. Some may say that a myth once interpreted will crack and crumble. So be it. justify my existence if I do not try to understand. it was exists for us.

not the ideologist. it remains to be seen what the future will bring.4 I gave my point of view in an interview in the Chiginh periodical sz4d-E~~ (1-2/1999). Pa’radoxiqllyit may be that Eminescu the ideologist will stand up better to time than Eminescu the poet: there will always be nationalists wave him as a banner. there is the poetry of Eminescu. strictly speaking.THREE YEARS ON: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SECOND ROMANIAN EDITION 5 EMINESCU Spirits got heated almost to incandescence around the figure of Eminescu. personally. and certainly unfair. There is Eminescu the poet. am great a admirer of Eminescu-the poet Eminescu. Eminescu was “d~scovered” the nationalist wave after by 1900. As an ideologist.It is an autochthonist and xenophobic ideology. this is absolute truth so before which we must all bow down. He had the right to have any ideas. and I know many of his verses not by heart. to . He was not. not glorified or condemned from our late-twentieth-century perspective. Many of those who are revolted by the “attacks” on Eminescu are admirers not of his poetry but of his ideology. I believe I can feel his poetry. And nowadays is promoted nationalists. The myth was the creation of the period around 1900.o r is it?saying that he was not seen this way during lifetime and thatperhaps he will no his longer be seen this way at some point in the future. I. On the other hand. A rather puerile. Some try to find all sorts of flaws in him. it produced a transfiguration. but these need to be related to the cultural and political contextof his period. the supreme. and. It is n o u s e .concentratedexpression of Romanian-ism. intellectual and even physical. However. like any myth. hestill by It is a manipulation: this is what the national poet said. of Eminescu will remain a great name in the history Romanian literature but lie will no longer be among us. What will be will be. and seek to convince us that we have no right to break away from Eminescu. game is played around Eminescu. In factthis is no fault of Eminescu’s. while others cannot agree to bring him down by even a single step from the heights of the myth. But I sometimes wonder if my generation is the last really to savorEminescu. It is true that no other Romanian myth carries a higher emoGonal charge than that of the national poet.Tastesevolve. Perhaps it is worthwhile reproducing the relevant passage here: Where Eminescu is concerned. He is perceived not only as a poet of unparalleled value-which would already be claiming a lot-but as a symbol of the Romanian nation. whichhas no need of ideology to beadmired. The dayyoungpeople no longer recite his poems by moonlight (and perhaps that day has already come). an ideologist. and there is Eminescu the ideologist. there are two aspects to consider. which may or may not correspond to the sensibilities of today or tomorrow. It is stupid to say that this must not happen.

nationalism. (If we put together all the segments which have been “rehabilitated” by one group or another-from cultural life to industry or international politics-it would seem that more things were good than bad.high a mortality and highest rate.6 This “primitivism” of deeper Romania was what justified permitted the authoritarian deviations.5 Was the this golden age of Romania. But the more conflictual a society-and the Romanian society of today is highly conflictualthe greater the risk of extreme solutions. indeed we might ask ourselves why conmunism fell at all. It was also the base on which Romanian communism almost was constructed and the source of many of thelatter’saberrations:the complete disappearance of a too smallelite. without half measures.inrelationtowhich interests and ideological options are manifested directly-are h l l y at the mercy of such contradictory assessments are and obsessively invoked as mythologcal models. if not global (everyone at least pays lip service to democracy and repudiatescommunismasasystem)thensegmental. O u t of all thesecontradictions of thetime. the rate of infant mortalityin and Europe). an indisputable historical time lag in the deeper reaches of the country. but there are also attempts at rehabilitation. of cultural and political traditions. behind the faqade. The yearsbetweenthe two worldwarscontinuetobediscussedendlessly. concealed a serious backwardness and all sorts of deviations from democratic principles? The opposing judgements are both just and unjust the same time. But over-severe critiques also are out of order. a society which. It is the same with communism. Romania then was at Romania then.aswiththose ofour owntime. of Romanian democracy? Or. Interwar Romania. can no longer be a useful model. not of Romania in particular. They define present options and err in their lack of historical sense. Romania at the time was a contradictory society: on the one hand there was an elite of European character (thought not completely free of autochthonous reflexes and prejudices).6 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS THE INTERWAR YEARS AND THE COMMUNIST PERIOD The tendency to see things in black and white is not a specifically Romanian one. and of a whole way of life. Deficient democracy. a low literacy level. of Romanian culture. and traditional demographic patterns: a high birth rate. Some condemn it with no appeal. on and the other.) It would be an illusion if we . and anti-Semitism are characteristic of the period in general. on the principle that “it wasn’t all bad”. in spite of a relatively sustained rhythm of modernization (a proportionately large rural population.and a modern cultural and institutional framework.only multiple and contradictory images can result. and it is not fair to judge such dyshnctionalities or attitudes exclusively in relation to current norms (whicharethemselvesmoreidealthaneffective). on the contrary. with all that was good and bad in it. This sort of polarizing is afeatureoftheimaginaryingeneral. The world then-everywhere-is no longer the world of today. The interwar years and the communist peripd-thatis.recenthistory. the uprooting and manipulation of disoriented masses.

or even profit. not of all abuses. accommodate themselves. And nowadays these same people are no longer ready to accept poverty out of love for democracy. no literary work enjoyed more fame than Marin Preda’s novel The Be.and quite another to There was consider that all Romanians would have made the same judgement. to imaginethe unspoken but suggested message. Such nostalgia is fed not only by poverty but also by lack of adaptability to an open society (as proved by the fact that we find it also in the eastern part of Germany. and the reader w s urged to read between the lines. a degree of intellectual and individual non-adherence to communism. They rose up a p n s t the consequences of communism. . It was a game played between the writer and the authorities: who could outwit whom? Each agreed to make certain concessions to the other. Ceaugescu. It was a critical portrayalseverely critical by the standards of the time-of the 1950s. The Romanians who joined the Secuvitae were certainly more numerous than those who resisted in the m o m tains . A correct intellectual approach ought to dissociate the historical and moral judgement of communism from an assessment of people’s attitudes to communism.evenwithout open resistance. . . . at least half the Romanian population consider that they had a better life before 1989. In fact in any society those who resist are in the minority compared with those who submit.But.onthe other hand. but not much further. indeed ananti-communist resistance:somewouldminimizeits importance or even dispute its existence. He could one have gone beyond that limit and published a clandestine text. not of the most serious). in contrast. but he did not. rehsing to go on accepting the total degradation of their conditions of life. give it a greater significance thanit really had. It would be unjust to say that all writers. .they went on publishing their in texts conditions of censorship. \ _ .too.ROWNIAN EDITION 7 . as it were. just as far as the limit beyond which could not go. . There was no clandestine publishing in Romania.haddistancedhimselffromsuchabusesin order to define his own brand of “communism of humanityyy. which is far from poor).SECOND. not of the system (and even then. Nor . . . wereimagine to that the majority of Romanians rose up in against 1989 communism as a system-from philosophical motives. But the criticism was of abuses. It is one thing to arrive at the conclusion that it was an immoralandharmfulsystem.r&md OfaiiMortaLr (1980).Westerners have done the same thing in reconstructing the story of “anti-fascist resistance”. while others. In general.. The mythological temptation be canglimpsed when hear again we of “resistance through culture”.. . The writer tried to push things to the ultimate permissible a limit. According to opinion polls. . The result: a confused message. for example. Preda went somewhat further than Ceaugescu. were no more thandocileservants of theauthorities. Who outwitted whom? To give one well-known example. The ccRornanian resistance” is a chapter of our history which has its share of truth but also of mythology. ccresistances’y are amplified in theimagmary. a subject tohearts dear the of Romanian intellectuals.THREE YEARS ON: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE. contrast to the dark years in of the Gheorghiu-Dej regime. There wasalso. . .

8 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS did other writers.) Essentially. however.andineven better conditions. however. . with the aid of a virtual history. (Ultimately. joined Communism up. is between 4 and 8 percent. a burden. a good many Romanians-it is hard to say just how many-have nothing much to reproach communism for. on the other hand.tothedisadvantage of some but to the advantage of others.” It must be emphasized that Daniel Barbu is not making communist propaganda. it is what counts! It is no use explaining. with the claim that the beneficiaries of communismwere more numerous than victims: its “The proportion of those for whom the totalitarian regime represented a permanent threat. be can placed somewhere between 20 and 70 percent. even if they do not admit it or admit it only partially and indirectly. Many of its members. while those for whom communism meant a positive changein their lives. countries that were no more advanced than Romania in the interwar period. Neither the interwar years nor the communist period can be represented in a single. merely proposing an explanation. Many. no Havel. others took their places.Today it is somewhatembarrassing to read the novel. An article by Daniel Barbuy provoked a lively discussion. Some were put out oftheir jobs and their houses. complete with vehementprotests. Today’s Romanian elite. with the exception of a few survivors. they feel that they are indebted to it for their social advancement-just as some of them have come to consider after 1989 that they are “indebted” to democracy only for a fall in their standard of living. Each of us has our own personal relationship to recent the history. or an immediate or virtual danger. identifying themselves in the imaginary with a quite different elite. but our judgement of that truth will never be a single one. coherent image. increasing access to higher education. justlike Greece and Portugal. on the other hand. The Romanians have no Solzhenitsyn. It should also be made clear that what is under discussion here is less the objective condition of people than their image of their own condition. while. which is not quite the same thing. a stableand rising income. brought an about overturning of society. I think Daniel Barbu is right. although it is probable that his formula containselement an of exaggeration and idealization. accept change this of condition as a social advancement. And even people lower down the scale. for example peasants who were moved into towns and installed in districts of apartment blocks. know only too well that without communism they would not be what theyare now-even ifthey shownohesitation in invoking the interwar period by way of an alibi or legitimizing procedure. that without communism Romania would havebeenmodernizedanyway. We can only try to get as close as possible to truth. is the creation of communism. a and closer connection to the state.

justice and injustice in this crisis were very much shared between the two camps. This by means that the unanimist and authoritarian logic of the past has not yet been left behind.with KOSOVO.religious ideology that has occupied the place left free the ideology of communism. in this part of Europe. how inclined towards extreme judgements. At first the percentage of those opting for NATO and the European Union was among the highest. nationalist and authoritarian Serbia to the democratic and cosmopolitan West. the press. or evenmany. these were scarcely yet heard. when we speak about the “other” we characterize ourselves. WE ARE A NATION.it is true. The most characteristic phenomenon was the slipping of a section of the political class. the difficulty with which Romanian legislation adapts itself toEuropean legislationwith step-by-step resistance in some cases. Then suddenly. some on the side of MloSeviC. But this only makes the notessound all the more false. Fortunately we arefarfromfundamentalism. the When it came to a choice. and political demagogy. another Orthodox country and a memberof the European Union). if not indeed the highest. As always. many Romanians preferred Orthodox. some on the side of the West. Even if we were inclined towards one solution or the other there were plenty of reservations that could have been expressed. convention. Economicinefficiency already keepsRomania far from Europe:if we also havea state of mind to take into account. It has become clear that for many Romanians attachment to the West has nothing to do with Western values but only with the wealth and power of a world to which we strain to attach ourselves out of purely material considerations. in Greece.THREE YEARS ON: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SECOND ROMANIAN EDITION 9 THE KOSOVO SYNDROME The crisisin Kosovo and the NATO attacks on Yugoslavia proved once again how divided the Romanians are. For a considerable number of Romanians it seems that it is not liberalism or democracy. of themstillare to indulgeinanti-Western propaganda onany pretext. Almost all Romanianshadfollowedwithbatedbreaththecountry’s unsuccessfd attempt (but with the promise of a re-examinationinthenearfuture) at integration in Atlantic structures: itwas a veritablenational obsession. as in the interminable discussion about the normalization of the legal status of homosexuals-illustrates the lack of real adherence to many Western norms. They took up their positions without reserve. and so defined their own options. but a rathervague. percentage of Romanians in favor of NATO dropped by some tens.yetinsistentlyaffirmed. The students of the University of Bucharest take sides over the building a church (Orthodox of of . for thepolitical-religious equation alsoincludes a fair dose of traditionalism. In addition. NOT AN ORTHODOX NATION The mixing of politics and religion is another archaic feature of Romania (found also. and public opinion from the Western to the Serbian side. and how readysome. In fact.

At a moment of major crisis-the miners’ march towards Bucharest-prime minister Radu Vasile found no other mediator than the church. If we attribute to religion a meaning which lies outside its specific message and give it the mission of structuring national spaces and civilizations. but the French nation cannot be defined.8 “Of course”. obliged religion in as in other matters to submit to the will of the majority? What about the more than a million and a half Hungarians. others oppose it. are no less Catholic than the Romanians are Orthodox. we ought to associate ourselves with Orthodox Europe. until recently a self-confessed “free thinker”.” It seems elementary. who.and. who are pure-blooded Romanians and who at one time were even the initiators Romanian national ideology? of Do they belongtotheRomanianpeople or not? Whataboutthe Baptists. the Hungarian nation? What about the Uniates. for the simple reason that the nation is something different. modern nations are not identified particular with a confession. are not Orthodox? Do we tell them that they must belong to another nation. whose numbers increased have among Romanians the in recentdecades?And. has started makmg the sign of the cross.10 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS course) in the universityprecincts: some support theproject. It seems that we are liable to forget that not only Romanians Orthodox. The French. plenty of citizens who belong to other traditions. alongside the Russians and Bulgarians. an immense Cathedral of the Salvation of the People is to be erected in the heart of Bucharest. while they in turn are branded Legionaries. then. are Confessions are generally transnational and do not follow the political-national divisions of the day. “Is the Romanian nation an Orthodox nation?” 1 asked. In fact. Finally. as a logical consequence. after all. The former brand their opponents atheists and communists.andkeepwellclear of theCatholicandProtestant. naturally enough. There are. some will reply. for example. Meanwhile. as a Catholic community. not only from a historical point of view but also in terms of current projects. more than anything. “Since the vast majority of Romanians are OrthodoxthenationcannotbeotherwisethanOrthodox. or at least as a skeptic in matters faith? This maybehowthingsarewithushere. at Party of meetings anyway). even when it is that of the majority. and indeed is not defined.politicians compete to be seeninchurches and at religious events. but it is not quite so simple. Even Ion Iliescu. secular West. and chose the Cozia monastery as a place for talks. in a recent article from which I shall quote some extracts here.since we havementionedex-presidentIliescu. butthereisanother dimension of the problem to be considered. Do we want to say that they are second-class Romanians. . The current seems irresistible. what about free thinkers? Are still allowed to present yourself as an you atheist (as so many Romanians did until about ten years ago.

There is no incontestable evidence of Christianity in Roman Dacia. at the other end of Europe. The claim-which has become insistent in recentyears-that the apostle Andrew preached in Dobrogea. Around 1900. It is normal that we should all share the samecivic values. * He= and elsewhere i the present book. The first axiom is that ‘(the Romanian peoplewas born Christian” and has gone on to identify with Orthodox Christianity throughout its history. different quite in nature its its and objectives the from universalism of religion. but Orthodoxism.Inmodernsocietiesthereisaseparationbetweenthe sacred and the profane. which had remained a province the Empire). first of in the West and then in the rest of all the world. . If religion alone had counted the modem age in then the Romanians would have been lost in the Slav mass-and who knows which way the Uniates of Transylvania would have gone? The Romanian national state was built on the basis of national ideology and liberalanddemocraticpoliticalprinciples.* as an ideology. is based only on a late legendarytrahtion. And this does not necessarily mean an alienation from religious values-although last the two or threehundred years seen have a process of desacralization. The temptation to fuse nation and church has its own historical mythology. and should not be confused with “Orthodo~f’(adj. Such evidence does exist from the fourth century onwards (both in Dacia. he is also. the traditionreferstoScythia-southern Russia-and not specificallyto Little Scythia-Dobrogea. (In any case. “Ortodoxism” (adj.butmighteven threaten its cohesion. Leaving aside the fact that the “birth” of a people is a highly mythological concept. between the religious and the civic or political space. in Dobrogea. it is simply a matter of separating sets of values which are distinctandshouldremain so. but its frequency is not of sufficient to support a coherent and certain history of Christianity north of the Danube. which would not onlyfailtoconsolidatethenationalorganism. religiousbeliefandpracticewerecertainly much more alive in Romania than today. in anycase. Tram. the transnational Orthodox faith itself. in the face of the paucity of source material we ought to be more cautious.We would do well to protect this area from any authoritarian principle and any form of discrimination. which resists identificationwith any modern ideological “-ism7’. more extensively.But faith (or the lack of it) remains a matter of personal choice. without which the national community would fall apart. not religiouscriteria.) It is interesting that all this is a recent development.: “Orthodoxist”) is to be undern stood as referring to a political ideology which makes the Orthodox faith a mark of national identity. but theGermannation remainsone.: “Orthodox”). and now he is starting to be venerated as patron saintof Romania. asecular creation. is much more ambitious and aggressive in its manifestations nowadays. The nationis. That is why Saint Andrewis the patron of Russia. patron saint of Scotland. and.THREE YEARS ON: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SECOND ROMANIAN EDITION 11 Germans may be Protestants or Catholics.

since we cannot remake history. the centralizing process seemed the more necessary all as the country. regarded in the Romanian imaginary as more civilized. Moldavia In there is now a Party of the Moldavians. dynamic.In the case of Romania. welded together by the ideology and centralizing force of the unitary national state (a process made easier by the fact that Romanians were in the majority in all its regions). But we need to know what we are talking about. For a number of years there have even been signs. when they constructed modern Romania. generally discreet but sometimes more emphatic. What is certain is that uniformity was preferred to the acceptance or even cultivation of the historicalandculturaldifferencesbetweenprovinces-realdifferences . It was assembled from distinct parts. There is nothing dramatic yet. and above all we should not rush to proclaim our prejudices to be immutable general truths. we are starting to hear voices raised against making sacrifices for the sake of the other regions. although it is hard to say what its political chances may be. in any be impossible). case. through their prefects. The last thing I want to do is to turn things round and say that federal the system best. a first step towards the dismemberment of the nation. So. O r at least thatwas what was thought best at the time. That. of a desire to mark regional identities. The model which the Romanians imitated.applicableeverywhereandinallconditions. but even today we cannot talk of complete homogenization (which would. What would have resulted from a federal solution we cannot know. in fact. entitled “I Have Had Enough of Romania”. is any kind of decentralization. was made up of “bits” which had to be welded together. our counties are closely dependent. right at the opposite extreme from federalism and from decenplizing processes in general: the unitarynationalstate.meant a highly centralized political and administrative system: like the French d@afimenD.12 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS THE FEDERALIST “THREAT” The Romanian nation. which did not exist before 1859. is less unitary reality in in than the imaginary. on central government. any like other. The fear-undoubtedly exaggerated-isbeginning to takeshapethatRomaniamaydisintegrate. of course. closerCentral more and to Europe (Hungary!). I repeat here what I wrote in an article this theme? on The minds many of Romanians imprinted the that are with idea federalism is a risky invention. columnist Sabin Gherman. The best solution in their view is. Even federalism is looked on with suspicion. caused a sensation and aroused the indignation of many. was France. In the lands beyond the mountains. but all the same it is something new for a Romania in which the mythology the thousand-year unity of of the Romanian people and the unitary national state has for so long covered A “provocative” article by the Transylvanian over the inevitable diversity. is There is no universalmodel.

to abolish q d which we now returning two see after centuries.). Oltenia.of course. It is the. but how we can get beyond a strict centralization. We may. Bucharest pulled too much towards itself. but nevertheless effective: elected regional councils. IaSi. etc. nevertheless. Like Paris. Likewise. centuries-long (or even millennia-long) unityof the Romanian space. centralism. are federal states. The Romanians were once imitators of France: m w they are more French than the French! What needs to be discussed inour case isnot federalization. It is exactly what would happen here if. alongside the system of counties. from one country to another. But it is not even a federal solution. consider that the best variant for us is still that which corresponds to the expression "unitary national state". The most interesting tendency the last few years in fact. I would say.Germany. with varying intensity. Even thought of such an organizationwouldcallupthespecter of nationaldisintegrationfor some.Switzerland. etc. there is regional autonomy in Italy. because it is not: lzot any hngeti The French example deserves to be invoked again.limitedinthecase of France. we also dividedthecountryintoitshistoricalprovinces:Moldavia. which. which are still visible today in spite a history that has adapted itself of to the political discourse and that tells us of an imaginary. or in Europe. is not exactly an aberration. of an evolution towards decentralization the andre-invigoration of historical provinces. . Moldavia is now the poorest province in the country (according to all indicators: per capita production. France has doubled its system d@aflementswith a of parallel system of regions-broadly corresponding the to historical regions which the French Revolution hastened. polarized betweencapital the the a and rest: provinces. whatever the Romanians may think (and we are not the around axis which world the revolves). and they seem to be getting on not so badly!Moreover. Scotland has recently voted for autonomy. quite the contrary. in what conditions? but . etc. The country was divided. Moldavia general and in did not lag behind. their own budgets. In the nineteenth century. remains most the centralized political organism in the whole of Western Europe.solution adopted in France. unemployment.andnowadays even Belgium. which once played a historical role but was never uniformly beneficial today and is effectively a hindrance. The federal solution. the Banat. regions certain The enjoy a degree of autonomy. The UnitedStates. And in Britain. has divided Spain been into seventeen autonomous provinces. but let us not pretend that thisis nowadays the dominant solution in the world. The balance has been upset. is re-emerging It as a province. from an intellectual point of view. Transylvania.Muntenia.all sorts ofintermediarysolutionscanbeimagined (and indeed have been imagined) between federalism and out-and-out is. Bucharest and Muntenia. if we like.THREE YEARS ON: AN 1NTRODUC"ION TO THE SECOND ROFNI-AN EDITION 1 3 .

a mixture of populations and cultures. Alexandru Niculescu attempts to theorize ethnic divisions in the spirit of modem anthropological concepts. In Histoy and Myth I raised the question of what a “Geto-Dacian” people could mean. The whole issue of ethnicity in the Dacian space thus needs to be re-evaluated. The uncritical interpretation of ancient sources has been a veritable tradition in this country! When Strabo says that the Getae and Dacians spoke the same language. and not only Hungarians. in . not Daco-Roman purity. AIexandru Vulpe. had any competence in the field of Thracian dialects! Of course they had none! Alexandru Vulpe’s conclusion is that the notion of ‘‘Geto-Dacians” must be taken to refer to a fragmentary space “and not a historical-social and political unit. but in seeking ways of revitalizing local and regional life. Indeed. insensitive to recent evolutions. by the unfounded fear of secessionism). and later Bastamians and Sarmatians. though not only.lo In a paper entitled “The Material Dimension of Ethnicity” (in course of publication in New Et/rope College YearEook. Poseidonius. He considers the summary identification of archaeological cultures with ethnic groups to be outdated: an ethnic group is not characterized by cultural uniformity. recognizes that archaeologists have been somewhat exaggerating “where the common history of different tribal groups in the Danube-Carpathian space is concerned”. with more professional refinement than before and leaving nationalist prejudices behind. in the Banat and Crigana.14 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS In the more prosperous region of Transylvania. perhaps. the real risk we run is not federalization but becoming locked in an outdated form of political behavior. 1997-98).Let us not make the federalist threat an alibi for immobilism! FROM THE “GETO-DACIANS” THE “MEDIEVAL TO ROMANIAN NATION” The Dacians. or his source. are starting to look over the western border. Romanian historians take him at his word. some. not a common language. from antiquity to the modem period. once they had settled in the territory. taking into consideration our whole tradition and present context-but in a less centralizing direction than hitherto.The solution does not lie in more centralization (dictated. The tendency to eliminate the “others” from the Romanian equation-marginalizing the Slavs and other “migratory” peoples (who. complete a varied ethnic and cultural landscape. too. In any case. Celts and Scythians. and not necessarily a common material and spiritual culture”. seem to be casting aside that seamless unity which has characterized them for decades. and its identity references are more symbolic than material. The Getic and Dacian tribes are not alone. the negative effect of an excessive centralization. ceased. The fictive unity of Dacia is fading and giving way to effective diversity. Not in a federal direction-which would be hard to promote here. more correctly characterizes the Romanian space. This is partly. A specialist in die field. without stopping to wonder if the Greek historian.

”ll However. They manifested themselvesby ethnic so. and where there is no consciousness there can be no nation. support the existence of a Romanian nation: “Large and small groups of Romanians acted in solidarity in the MiddIe Ages. in the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries we can obtain the image of the medieval Romanian nation. or was the book not trying to demonstrate precisely the opposite? Of Michael the Brave we find out (sw s well a a . conscious of its The question is. and the interaction between them. can still be called a nation! Such a concept recalls the famous %on-organized state” identified by the “Romanian Communist Party Program” in the period after the Roman withdrawal from Dacia. and the modern nation. To insist on these points is to force a open door. indeed . between ethnicity and nation. role and mission”. along with later ethnic and cultural infbsions-and to insist on a twofoldDaco-Romanpurity.lda@. especially among the Transylvanian Romanians.not historically given. as their ideals were different and importance at thetime. But nation n the is something else: it is a unique and allencompassing solidarity. lacking a consciousness of its role and mission.D ROMANIAN EDITION 15 fact. even at the level of an ideal. and that of Mathias even less so. “active.This sort of argumentwouldleadus nations even in prehistory. The book is subtitled Romatzian Etbnic Soiidarities in the 13” to I @ Centgnks. medieval people aware were of the languages they spoke and of the ethnic groups to which they belonged. whether a passive and fragmented nation. frequent among Romanian historians.”l2 Is it just my impression. however.. others preferto go the opposite way. Right from the title page we find the confusion. In the author’s vision all sorts of local solidarities. The author himselfinvoluntarilyletsslip counter-arguments to his own thesis: “The name of Iancu of Hunedoarahas not remained in the Romanian public consciousness of the Middle Ages as that of a Romanian sovereign or of a sovereign who supported the Romanians. The upholders of this thesis now have a new text to refer to: The MedievalRomanian Nation by the Cluj-based historian Toan-Aurel Pop.THREE YEARS ON: AN INTRODUCTION TO ”HE SEC0N. The isolation of a fewsegments or moments of unity cannot cancel out a whole mass of concrete. as they were of the fact that others were “different”. Of course.reflectsandsustains attitudes of rejection which belong to the present. I Mly agreewiththesecharacterizations. While some historians are breaking away from the mythology of unity. or at least proposing a morenuanced view. The nation is a state of consciousness. unitary. since it hasno way of existing. thenationmanifestsitselfprecisely as a greater sokdaip.and not asanamalgam of lesser solidarities.the ethnic aqect was of secondary nor could they. not just to the interpretation of the past. which contains and subordinates other solidarities. probably in the illusion that a Romanian nation which has always been united will continue to be so for ever. ideological. Ioan-Aurel Pop does indeed make a dishction between medieval the nation. The latter are as old as the world itself: indeed. to be migratory). without solidarity there to look for could be no human society. From the totalizing of these solidarities. “passive and relatively fragmented”. and mental structures which do not support in any way the idea of an effective Romanian unityin the period. willed and created..

and f especially Wallachia. I have no illusions that I have solved the problem. They may be approximate. of no Our author prudently does not mention the Moldavians: they would have had nothing good to say of Michaelanyway. but the clichk of the ‘evil and sly’ Hungarians who put the innocent Michael to death is fully active. to tell us how . too. as a supreme form ofsolidarity (above all other solidarities) in the modern imaginary. even downright wrong. But for this all Christians should curse the Hungarian people all the more. We are left with the evil and sly Hungarians. for the two are definitely not saying the same thing. It is talking about Wallachia. I know they are often contested. and in case any notabout Transylvanians or Moldavians (who continued to call themselves Moldavians and not Romanians well into the nineteenth century). the Bragov chroniclers Schei seem to have had idea of this. OPINION POLLS I must confess that I love opinion polls. This is curious. for example. the Muntenian chronicler or the historian from Cluj. givinglifetoRomanian aspirations! Well.16 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNE.” The author comments: “As we can see. What would I not give to have such information for certain periods and key moments in history! (A poll. Only one more step remained to be taken before. for they are evil and sly. but I am not sure that such labeling was sufficient for the coalescing of the Romanian nation. since no problem is ever finally solved. were left without him. Of course. Disliking Hungarians is not enough to make one automatically a Romanian patriot: at least it certainly was not And one step from this to the in 1600. by their very nature. Where does the historian see the chronicler combining the general Christian ideal with the ethnic one? The fragment cited has nothing to do with ethnicity. All I can do in my books is to say openly what I think. in 1600. What is the point of citing sources if one is only going to put a false interpretation on them? As far as I am concerned. in which I tried to show how the nation was invented in the years around 1800.”*3 It remains to be seen now who inspires more trust.SS enough known anyway) that he did not leave very many memoriesof a “national” order in theconsciousness of subsequent generations. not about Romanians in general. discussion of the issue of the nation is closed. he gives a forced interpretation of a passage in the his to^^ o Walhchia: “And the Christians. But whatever their deficienciesit is better to have them than not at all. I have expressed my point of view in an essayentitled Two CelztzlriesoflVationalMythoh~14. the romantics would set Michael among the precursors of modern Romania. who knows?) only prefiguration of modem Romania? It seems a rather big step. following the erudite works of the scholars of the Transylvanian School.. for the time being the general Christian ideal is combined with ethnic the one. (Nowadays. On the other hand.. and they may be willllly distorted. they can be used to manipulate. all the same-indeedinexplicable-ifhewas then. Interpretations go on to infinity.

Vlad Tepeg is also well placed. For an interpreter of Romanian historical consciousness there can be nothing more interesting than an enquiry into the rating of historical personalities. in the “memory” of the Romanians). It is easy to decipher all this. Moreover.6. Wad Tepeg4. a few l amendments and new accents: a limited recognition of the kings or an inclination . together with the insistence on the idea of national unity (both before and after 1989) explains the placing of Cuza in the highest position. In June 1999. In the meantime. Michael the Brave and Stephen the Great (with the former rated higher. Titulescu and Antonescu are remembered. in other words. understandably. while Iorga. and this. not a few Romanians dream nowadays.) In their absence.200 individuals all over the country were asked to choose “the most important historical personalities who have influenced the destiny of the Romanians for the better”.3. which explains his presence. of the polls which are available.1.7. The classification says a lot. Nicolae Ceaugescu-10. Next in the top ten of the heroes of national history appear the traditional pair who have featured in all ideologies. Out of the ten chosen personalities Cuza takes first place. Nicolae Titulescu-2. or of whose solutions. is Nicolae Ceaugescu. at least for very recent history.THREE YEARS ON: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SECOND ROMANIAN EDITION 17 the Romanians of around 1650 saw Michael the Brave and the union of 1600. to have won his mythological confrontation with Carol I. Nicolae Iorg-3. in the time of Ceaugescu the gallery of great statesmen stopped at Cuza (with a minor coilcession in the case of Titulescu. Ion Antonescu-2. and decisively. King Carol 1-3. as a symbol of national unity). when other statesmen are absent. well ahead of the next in line. Michael the Brave-17. are not. Among modem political figures. not about the past but about how Romanians relate to the past. before jumping over a century to the figure of the dictator himself. for example. the Briitianus.1. He seems posthumously. the authoritarian and relentlessly just ruler of whom. The responses (the top ten figures and their respective percentages) were as follows: Alexandru Ioan Cuza-24. These are the effects of historical propaganda in the communist period (and of course no fault of Cuza’s!). and immediately after them. about how they think nowadays. surprisindy but quite explicably given the general orientation in Romanian public opinion.2. we use fragmentary material to try to identify all sorts of attitudes and states of mind. leaving Cuza more or less in eclipse. after all.4. Can we be sure we are not wrong? Might we not be treating our sources as more representative than they really are? So let us take advantage.1. royalty has almost been wiped from the collective memory of the Romanians. the National Institute for the Study of Opinion and Marketing (Insomar) released the results of a p0llI5 in which 1. King Ferdinand (who was. Before communism the relationship was the other way round: the kings appeared at the top of the hierarchy.3. King Michael 1-52. King Michael gets only half the score of the late dictator. sovereign at the time of the Great Union of 1918) and Queen Marie. We are looking at a pantheon that was largely set in place in the “Ceaugescu era”---many Romanians still imaghe that what they learned at school then is “what history is al about”-with. Stephen the Great-1 3.

In a strictly mythological sense. France would have won outright in any poll. However. Nowadays not only the United States. of the electorate. But the way the Romanians look at their history expresses something more profound than the present political conjuncture. of course. At the bottom (with 15 percent and 20 percent respectively) are the political parties and Parliament. It is the choice of a society predominantly oriented towards the left. he symbolizes more powerhlly and directly the idea of national unity. the peasants’ ruler and great reformer. it is simply that this is how the Romanians want to see things. The credit accorded to the various institutions of the state has remained constant for a number of years. a leftist culture with an attraction towards nationalism and authoritarianism-far from what a modem left would stand for.18 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS towards authoritarian solutions like those of Antonescu or Vlad Tepeg. French and German) the new configuration of foreign reference points in the imaginary of the Romanians. I shall limit myself to noting here (following on from what is said in the book about the traditional competing models. The polls also allow us to follow other recent evolutions and tendencies. which is a quite new phenomenon in Romania. the disappearance of the old elite and the opening after 1989 to a world politically and culturally dominated not by France but by America. namely. in addition. which. It is. which easily dominates. have had a strong erosive effect on the French myth and French reference points. at a safe distance. And it cannot be said that they are placed so low because they have not done their duty. a structuraliy dominant leftist sensibility. exactly the structures that are indispensable for democracy. No. but also Germany . At the top of the list are the Church and the army (with 88 percent and 75 percent respectively). in fact. and finally. Already young people express themselves more readily in English than in French. We can continue to look at all sorts of choices. there were no other significant models. he was a native Romanian. followed. which would be perfectly legitimate in itself. embody the principle of authority rather than that of democracy. not a ruler from outside. institutions which are no doubt essential (though it is curious. Cuza. and significant. And it is not just the selection and ordering of historical personalities that justifies such a diagnosis. that the Church is considered an institution of the state) but which. result of the tarnished image and failures of the present government. Around 1900. which feels closer to communist mythology and its representations than to what was before communism. the relatively modest score obtained by Antonescu would suggest that the fears sometimes expressed in the West regarding his ascent in the political imaginary of the Romanians are not justified. or rather “return”. by their function. Opinion polls dealing with current politics confirm this shift. Much more disturbing remains the shadow of Ceaugescu. long the principal bastion of French culture in Central and Eastern Europe. On the other hand. the. constructs its own historical mythologies. There are accents which take us beyond simply noting a leftist sensibility. is felt to be more ‘left-wing” than Carol I. Those that receive a higher rating have not behaved irreproachably either. by Germany.

I had no idea to that anything was being prepared all! I did not expect a change in history take at place so fast. France-8. than A questionnaire on “the countries Romanians the appreciate most” gives the following percentages: USA-26. not one of them has claimed to be my “disciple”. What could be more illustrative of of the division in Romanian society and its great confusion values? THE TEXTBOOK SCANDAL Without wishingit. Preoccupied as I was with my own projects. It is in the past along with the old Romania. Romanian society today suffers from an acute lack..8.we cannot ignore an extremely significant recent poll (November 1999).2. Germany-18. like the French and German models of the past (albeit at the level of “forms without substance”). I returnedabruptlytotheforeground of thingswith the “textbook scandal” of October 1999. If I stimulated it in any way. the good and the bad. with the same rating in each: 22 percent. “world we have lost”. the But the new reference points are more indicative the prestige enjoyedby certain of countries and the opportunities they offer to Romanians than a well-defined set of of values. and. the attractionof Orthodoxism. indeed. I am the “man in the shadows” who has been working. where values and models are concerned-hence the illusory parallel solutions: isolation in a mythologized history. I wonder what it would have been like.9. on the demolition of Romaniannationalhistory.2. open and nonconformist it may be. Ceaugescu appears in the first place in both lists. It would appear that in the imaginary of some people (nationalists with an inclination towards conspiracy theories). as far as I know.THREE YEARS ON: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SECOND R0MANIA. In answer to a question about the leaders who have done the most harm and the most good to Romania in the last century.8. I donot knowto what extent my historiographical criticism contributed to the decision radically to restructure the history curriculum with textbooks to match.8. There are rules and limits that must be respected in conceiving such a however text.. As far I as am concerned. Indeed.returningtotherating of personalities. I certainly had no idea what was being prepared. I have opted for complete liberty.N EDITION 19 seem closer and more interesting the to average Romanian France. Italy“6. they are still far from being true models. then I must confess that I am glad. If I had written a textbook it would certaidy have been different from those that were published. phere is no point in trying to answer the question “Why?”: perhaps they wanted less controversial personalities to be involved. .) None of the textbook authors asked me a single question. so there is no way I could write textbooks. Andfinally. through his disciples. Britain-3. or confusion.16 The predominantly French age is over for most Romanians. Switzerland-5. But I was certainly not consulted by anyone the when curriculum was under preparation.

in line withEuropean educationandRomaniantradition (fivewere approved by the Ministry of National Education for the “History of the Romanians” in the twelfth grade). and implicitly behind the textbooks. but also in terms of interpretation in most of the textbooks). was clearly a step forward. in the spirit of the “new history”. And the l senator who expressed himself most vehemently was Sergiu Nicolaescu. a communist inheritance. The concept behind the new curriculum. and mentalities than on events and personalities. than anything else.a &rector of historicalfdms inthe“age of Ceaugescu”--films like MichaeltbeBrave and MirceatheGreat. at last gets an appropriate treatment (at least in terms of the number of pages. or ever will invent. to free ourselves from the rigidity of “formulae”. The education committees of both should be burned in the chambers then held meetings. in a sense. but posthumously in 1918. One textbook chose to go further than the others along the road that was thus opened.afterten years) from the single textbook. wascertainly not the most inspiredsolution. excusedby a few worn-out patriotic clichis. problematized and opento discussion the with pupils. We ought. on which the previous textbooks were almost silent. culture. which in their turn create history. It is here that myths and symbols are born.20 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS That said. No one has yet invented. I wouldplead for anintelligent treatment of personalities (in a different sense from that of the “heroic” history which has prevailed up till now). there is a more pronounced accent on civilization.it is simply another sort of history. The sacrifice of “heroes” and . First of al it was the Romanian Senate that began to boil. For morethan a month (October to November . And what people believe is. It borethe brunt of allthe hy provoked by the new orientation. and not abandon one formula only to enter into another. A better balance could have been sought.Somewouldsayitcouldhardlyfail to be! The textbooks which we are finally laying aside have contributed to the unofficial (but very real) status of history in Romanian education: the least liked subject! It had become a discipline in which young people learned what they had to. Michael the Brave did indeed unite the Romaniam. and recent history is gwen an appreciably greater weighting in comparison to earlier periods. in general. Theapproach hasnowchangedin at leastthreeessentialaspects. The MiddleAges should have been given more space. without meaning or finality. not for their abolition or diminution. The communist period. is certainly more modern than that of the single textbooks previously inuse. an undigested mass of information. vehicles not only for patriotic pride but also for the message of unity around the great leader. It may be that history is not made by personalities. “incontestable history”! “Structural” history is not necessarily more true than ‘Lfactual” history.thechangeover(slowenough. to the system of paralleltextbooks. more important. but from which they came away with nothing. This was the already celebrated textbook coordinated by Sorin Mitu and r published by Sigma.of many events. It is understandable that such a re-centering creates imbalancesin its turn.Factual ballast has been given up in favor of a synthetic treatment. even for history. not in 1600. but people believe is it made by personalities. Now he found the saving solution: the textbook public square.

including insinuation the that there was Hungarian interestsandevenmoneymightbeinvolved. is no more than a normaladaptationtotheorientations of contemporaryhistoriography. which is so new to many Romanians. on the contrary. But in those days. I was given a few minutes on thenationalchannel’seveningnewsprogram. and it would be the first measure of this kind in Romania since the fall of communism. If you cancriticizepresidentsIliescuandConstantinescu without mercy.Public opinion was overcome by emotion. A single history a isutopia. Such out summaryjudgementsmultiplied. a single interpretation? Of course not. at the time of the Dreyfus affair):for or a p n s t Michael the Brave.areyou not permitted to say something a little unconventional about Vlad Tepeg or Michael the Brave? The shift in accent. We even heard of family rows (as in France. let us not ask that they be identical-perhapswithdifferentcoversandillustrations! The elimination of a textbook on the grounds that someone does not like it is called censorship. history was not chanted with a single voice. With only a little exaggeration we might imagme Parliament abandoning current legslation to debate and vote on history textbooks. with an accent on national values and political authority.brief. if we may simplify what is without doubt a more complex picture. So. managed to express themselves with a small measureof liberty (while others. history was treated in terms of events. Even communism. in a democratic and pluralist society? When we look the Romania of at today. I also participated-as an ad hoc expert for the Ministry of National Education-in the meeting of the parliamentary committees. I rarely make public statements except in writing. for or against Sorin Mitu. It was rejected (not out of appreciation for the ‘hew history” but out of government solidarity). and . A popular show on thetelevision channel Antelza 7 staged a trial. is there a single option. is my argument: in The necessity for a pluralism of textbooks is almost unanimously recognized. O r even agovernment falling becauseof history! Attacks multiplied from various directions.wentevenfurtherintheirconformitythantheywere asked to).THREE YEARS ON: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SECOND ROMANIAN EDITION 21 1999) the matter seemed to be the main preoccupation of Parliament. certainly better than its distant past. In the nineteenth century. who know what is good and what is bad and who are calledto set thenation on therightroad. Finally. inwhich I triedto get the essential message across. in wheresingle a ideology functioned and precise instructions were given in historical matters. what can we expect nowadays. history has shifted from events to structures. where I was able to express myself more fully. a motion calling for the withdrawal of the textbook cameto the vote. of course). if we agree that there should be more than one. paragraph by paragraph. but some historians. which we know well. Today. no shortage of personal attacks. which turned to be more of an execution. to their credit. The limits were narrow. Here. Like any society in crisis Romania today has its “prophets”. It is the same with history. as a totally senseless hysteria swept the country. If that is how things stood in a totalitarian system.Apartfromprinciples(“patriotic”. I felt it only right to make clear my point of view (all the more so as my name had been invoked).

aimed at pupils who are at risk of being disoriented by a l sorts of “relativizations”. some members by of its own History Section) whichaligned with in it itself the chorus of denigrators. probably more powerful than the upholders of the modern current. the Group for Social Dialogue and the History Faculty of the University of Bucharest (by a majority of its members) pronounced in favor of respecting professionalism and the right to uncensored expression. None of these points of reference is more important than the others: all three must be equal for us.Inthecase of the contested manual. We cannot progress in thespirit of a nineteenth-century history (and still less in the spirit of a nationalism taken over from. What are we doing? Playing a hypocritical game? Is there a history for adults. preparing to enter into the wider world. see in history the principal ingredient of national identity. Europe. and democracy makeup one body. The second motive is the demolition. more radical here than in other textbooks. and with an outdated way of looking at theworld that we should be equipping them. but with the capacity to think critically and to make choices. and another. All the more so as they build on a widespread inclination-asy to stimulatea in traumatized society-towards nationalism and authoritarianism.is not with prejudices. “Anti-Mitu” reactions were thusnot restricted to the zone of the nationalist left. But the polemic. including the respect due not only to the community but also to the individual. in other words. with It ready-madeideas. do they not have the right to know just as muchabout how Romaniawas made? For the time being the maneuver has not succeeded. regardless of their political orientation. issued a communiquk (disavowed. in which anyone is free to say anything. These pupils.historiansincluded. it hasbeensaid.the nineteenth century and exacerbatedin the Ceausescu period). National identity remains. but alongside it we European have identity and democratic principles. It is not the time the first that Academy appeared has as a conservative forum. are young people in their final year of high school. The textbook passes rapidly over the heroes of history (somewhat . for the use of adolescents? In the past it was sexual hypocrisy that worked that way. That is what determined a severe judgement from those who. These are l school textbooks. but the opponents of the “new history” have shown that they are still powerful. however. on the other hand. the “conservatives” also voiced the idea that from now on textbooks should be approved by the Academy! “The wisest among us”. The dispute has also illustrated the division in the intellectualcommunity.if we’ really wanttogoforward. prime for the hostdity is immediatelyevident:theuncompromisingtreatment of the communist period (and of communist survivals after 1989) and an unconcealed position a p n s t the Iliescu regime and in favor of the Democratic Convention. of national-historical mythology. The nation. Now young people know all about sex.concerns not just any books.22 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS from nationalism and authority to another combination of values. not exactly true but << reassuring”. of course (Europe will not come into being without or against the nations). Falling back on authority as usual! To retum tu &e illcriminated a motive text. however. Moreover. The Romanian Academy.

There was no referendum to allow the freely expressed vote of all the inhabitants of the province. Another reproach was that the union of Transylvania in 1918 was not properly presented. in its Romanian aspect at least. about the claim that the nation was “invented”. However. asit is precisely the thesis which I developed myself in Histoy and M & They do not y. the emphasison the presence of the Romanian army and on high-level political decisions pushed the enthusiastic participation of the masses and the “plebiscitary” character of the action into the background. too. far too simple. Vlad Tepe? (the last great love of over-heated minds) appears only as the prototype of Dracula. which has many good features and callsmany things by theirtruenames. that every myth “conceals a solid grain of historical truth”. The text is.seems adequate to me. Unfortunately. too summary in relation to what it seeks to demonstrate. to its regardless of ethnicity. like to see the history of the Romanians relativized. I have no more to say on this subject. These considerationsmotivated strictly by respect for t r u t h .alsohasplenty of vulnerable points.d o not change the factthat the Romanians were in the majority and really did want union with Romania (nor the fact that nowadays they are even more in the majority and the union has proved viable). and indeed no such referendum could have been organized in the confused Gonditions prevailing at the end of the war. Neither of these two formulations. does not highlight the vampire but rather the relentlessly prince struggled his just who for country’s independence. How could the Romanian nation be invented? And yet so it was. . although the concept is in fact more subtle than in the other textbooks).” A little hrther on it is stated. it is true). in addition. the question “What is myth?” getsa simple. answer: “A myth isa tale. giving an excessively Anglo-Saxon color to a mythology which. Only Romanians participated at Alba I d a .” In a n y case. anywhere) belongs equally all inhabitants. like all others (and historians who find such an affirmation strange could do worse than glance at the recent bibliography of the subject). and a summary (iftrue)characterization of himasthe“favoritefigure of Romanian historians”.THREE Y E A R S ON: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SECOND ROMANIAN EDITION 23 too rapidly. It is hardtobelieve that the Hungarians would have declared themselves in favor of separation from Hungary! We have to get used to the idea that Transylvania (like any other territory. however. Indignation was also aroused by the observation that the obsessive problem of the orign of the Romanians is principally a matter of mythology and ideology (and not of incontestable scientific reality). And we do not like nationalist propaganda andauthoritarian attitudes. Such a new approach calls for an argumentation to match. if we want to be correct we must accept that the union of 1 December was the direct consequence of the defeat of Austria-Hungary in the First World War. this textbook. obviously related to my own approach. There was a lot of fuss. To give a single example. no other European nation-state (with the occasional exception) was constituted by “universal vote”. About Michael the Brave there are just a few words. Serious and complicated matters are treated in a familiar and simplified style bving the impression of an “adaptation” for children.

from one sentence to the next. when others express their own political options?). that produced under the direction of Ioan Scurtu. 33): an unfounded accusation and a vague and generalized formulation. inspired by the Romanian ideal. First. overall. nor does the author of the same chapter hesitatebring to in text the of the capitulation-those capitulations again!”concluded in 1393 between Mircea the Old and the Sultan Bayazid. is. accusing him politicizing history (and. 95). and published by Petrion. legitimate up to a point.24 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS And. by making it banal-the idea being that it was really neither better nor worse than other periods or governments. impossible to Is a Swiss village? No. I simply note that some of the other textbooks. contrary to real evolutions before the nineteenth century. example. that the attitudes expressed in the school textbooks should be brought closer together (since it is not a good idea to pupils give histories which radically are at odds with each other). andthe government set up in 1996 (why such annoyance. With luxurious villas. The treatment of communism offers some tellingpages. However. Apparently his death wasarranged by the“powers of the time” (p. affirming as itself one of their hndamental aspirations” @. with running water and everything elseone could wish for! In spite of the desire. and probablywithout dust and mud. it is the distinguish from town villas” @. this Romanian “socialist” village. to consider the only textbook that was conceived in a different spirit.who. well-known nationalist clichks. with or without upper storeys. In his book we meet again the old. while it is. (For the Humanitas version. the Forperiod after 1989 there is an uncompromising judgement of the anti-Iliescu orientation. a professor in the History Faculty of theUniversity of Bucharest. Rao and All. is that “the idea of state unity has accompaniedthehistory of the Romanians. a document longago proved tobe inauthentic!) I shall pause. 6)-a true nation. I do not believe that the political options of the “Mitu team” can be denied. linguistic. of “adopting the viewpoint of those in government”). in case. and people are more present in its social activity. 133). a convincing and elegant publication. suggesting the involvement of the whole of Europe and channeling the attachment that the Romanians bear towards the voivode in an anti-European direction. Homes have been modernized and new houses built on completely modern lines. gives a conhsed presentation of MichaeltheBrave. are any they contradictory: a “tale” is usually thought of as something “untrue”. the Geto-Dacians: “a powerful ethnic.more of than that. They are not without their own errors and contradictions either. economic civilizational and entity” @. are more complete butalso “better behaved” than that coordinated by Sorin Mitu. those published by Humanitas. Ioan Scurtu politicizes history just as intensely. The conclusion. I do not intend to make a comparative analysis here. this . then. Scurtu has criticized Mitu severely. however.Everythingthat is nowadays possible is done to partially rehabilitate it. and then is not. Here is a sample: “The life of the villagegoes on at heightened rhythms compared with the past. the Democratic Convention. though in the opposite direction. it might be said! Then there is the Michael the Brave episode.

survive in an amalgam of concrete and mental structures: excessive centralization. in the end. condemned to bachwardness.withreference points not only different. andtowardsminorities. Such “patriotism” is in fact directed against the interests of Romania.” However.is becoming multiple and diversified. it seems that this is what we have come to: a model similar to the old French model (albeit structured on other criteria).and on a moregenerallevel.itmeans a new attitude towards ourselves. succinctly and unequivocally. As in France a century and more ago. model.. We are far. . too. but. We havestill not trulycome out of the nineteenth century! The two great projects of that century.THREE YEARS ON: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE SECOND R O M A N I e EDITION 25 . I believe.. . nationalism and communism. and which they are somewhat slow pass. for example. has all too often served as an excuse for an accumulation of delays. do not affect the overall coherence of the model. around two contradictory “ideal models”: one nationalist and authoritarian. “polarizing” seems to be inevitable for the time being. .. what I believe about a number ofimportant matters.Moreover. in the school textbooks. The so-called patriotic discourse. that a patriot is someone who does something for their country today..which is characterized by a high degree of polarizationbetween the historical reference points of the two Frances . and. and the other European and democratic (with. putting a damper on it. It means a new and positive attitude towards Europe. the confrontation is being played out. a weighty and uncompetitive economy. all sorts of nuances and combinations inbetween). To speak fine words (all too often untrue or at least exaggerated) about the past is thesimplest(and often a verycheap)way of showing one’s patriotism.thereis a process of relativization of valuesandculturaldiversification going on inthe world today. in a world which is changing at a dizzying pace and into whose rhythms we need to enter ifwe do not want to remain isolated. to collapse. . As far as history is concerned. and will probably continue to be played out for a long time to come. from the French. . To prove theirpatriotismtheyarecalledon to pass the laws which to Romania needs so badly. I wrote in Histop and My& that in traditional the Romanian historiographical discourse “differences of interpretation and accent.. At present. such as we find. of course. above all. . not to mention the . patriotism means not the noisy affirmation of nationalism. insufficient openness towards the world. on the contrary.Aboveall. with its insistence on our “uniqueness”. too great an accent on the collectivity and not enough on the individual. but actually opposite.however. WHATI BELIEVE I want to say in conclusion. I a m not inclined to judge the patriotism of deputies and senators by the waytheyjudge thehistorytextbooks or theirappreciation of Michael the Brave.j . these are the aftereffects of a revolutionarytrauma: a fissuredsociety. consequently history. .

of Westernization. closer than we believe to people everywhere. We have nothing to learn from Stephen the Great and Michael the Brave. the Romanians did not placethemselvesincontinuitywith an oldtradition. The problems of the present must be solved with the means of the present and from the perspective of the present. when they decided to play the card of modernization. We over-dramatize our relations ‘{foreigners” with with and ourselves. neither more capable nor less capable. We must show that Romania means something. Almost two centuries ago. quite simply. Perhaps we can try. a European nation like all the others-on the one hand more different among ourselves than we like to recognize. nor even from the politicians of the interwar period. Now we are entering a new world. We ought to %ormalize” ourselves.26 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS whole array of outdated mythological images.but to be a little less obsessed with it. We are. to realize that we are neither worsenor better. This explains our far from normal attitudes to the “other”. We are too ladenwithfrustrationsandcomplexes. and we need a new begmning. though it would be better to take a leapinto the century that is about tobegin. and of the national state. Let us at least settle into a twentieth-century pattern. tody. ald on the other. not to forget history. We cannot remain prisoners of the past.andhencewithfeelings both of inferiority and superiority that are as damaging as they are contradictory. (November-December 1999) .they broke with it. We look towards the past too much (a past mythologized with ease). and too little towards the present and future.

In relation to real history. then. Historians are untiring producers of coherenceand significance. Let us grant-for the sake of the demonstration-that it might be possible to establish “absolute the truth” of facts. about what we understand by history. it is both the past in its objective unfolding and discozme about the past. Out ofthis deposit the historian (or. These two historiesarefarfrombeingequivalent. the image.and distorted. . their ordering in a coherent whole. often very differently. In reality.and.decisively. therefore.whichthe present never ceases to recompose. while the second lacks the means to “resurrect” events in all theirfullness.Ideological and political pluralism is inevitably translated into historical pluralism. history as discourse presupposes a drastic filtering of the facts. The word histoy has two distinctmeanings. What weusuallycallhistoryis our discourse about history. the historical circumstances. and what we understand by myth. cultural the inheritance. Many things contribute to the differentiation of the discourse: the zoneciv$ization. history is an unordered and inexhaustible deposit. In the present work we are dealing with history and historical myths. the mental context. selection Even their and their organization inhierarchyandsequencewouldstillremain open to a variety of solutions. Histoy refers both to what really happened and to the reconstruction of what happened. according to the standpoint from which they areobserved. detached from a much broader context and set within an explanatory schema elaborated by the same historian. anyone who speaks about history).the spectrumof ideologies. The same historical processes and the same facts are treated differently. Let us be clear. o f .Introduction to the First Edltion Any intellectual project presupposes a prior definition qf the concepts with whch we are operating. selects and orders. the “dramatization” of action.in other words. of thepast. and its investment with a well-defined Real sense. and indeedmanyprofessionals. often tendto confuse.which the generalpublic.simplified. School textbooks published in different parts of the world amply demonstrate the impossibility of history being the same for everybody.inevitablyincomplete. “facts” are themselves constructed by the historian. The first is cancelled out as one event succeeds another. They produce a sort of “fiction” outof cctrue’7 materials. more generally. the training of the historian.

History is not just the work of historians. There is thus. But that is nothow it iswith history. which would. Everyone participates. turn. mean end of history. Now concept. said Lucien Febvre. are the two extreme points attained by themyth of a perfect and objective history. This is the end of an illusion that has been sustained and amplified by the scientism of the last two centuries. Their influence should not be underestimated. conceals a highdegree of ambiguity. “The historian is not the one who knows. Its evermore frequent use. There is somethingelsewhich sets historyin a place apart. sometimes in contradiction and variable with intensity and effects. and in a producer of mythology. The professionals of history are themselves caught within the net. from the “historical envi~-onment” which they have evolved. Physics is the exclusive domain of physicists. and Marxist theory. army. on the historical consciousness. It represents a privileged expression of the self-consciousness of every community or social group. at least not completely. . Current usageand dictionary definitions suggest a wide range of meanings. prejudices. press. radio. A historical novel or fdm may often prove to be more influential. lesser extent from realityseemsliable to becalledmyth. Oral tradition. the time for absolute truths has passed even in what were previously considered exact sciences. The historian is fed by the ambient mythology is. His effervescent dialoguewiththe past cannotpossiblycrystallize into a single truth. literature. distortions. the Indeed.were to continue to claimanaccess to the ccabso1ute77 which physicists no longer invoke. it cannot exist.and often abuse. It would be strange if history. but nor should it berated too highly. by that wehavereachedthis point. Basically anything which deviates to a greater or All sorts of fictions. Indeed. church. political ‘discourse. in one way or another. stereotypes. Historians cannot detach themselves. not only does it not exist.Contemporaryepistemologyhasseenan appreciable infusion of relativism. with in its stock of traditions and with the prejudices and constraints that it implies. which is in any case a less structured discipline than physics.28 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS It must be understood that oyecthe bistory does not ex>t. andexaggerationscanbe brought together under this convenient label. at all levels. but the one who seeks”. the gifted amateur who may occasionally stumble on a new theory generally counts for little in the dynamics of the science. cinema-all are sources of history that act. Nor should the resistance of historians to mythologybe overestimated. A school textbook has an impact on an incomparably larger public than a masterpiece of historiography addressed to anelite. in fact. it remains to clarifythesecond answering the question: What do we understand by myth? Mytb is a fashionable word. television. school. convinced as it was of the historian’s ability to squeeze out of documents what Ranke called “history as it reallywas”. in the elaboration and endless adaptation of the stock of history which is imprinted in the collective consciousness. with its impeccable setting of all phenomena in a complete schema of human becoming. The “critical school”. an inevitable process of mytbohgi@zg of bistory.

involve the treatment of the past in. those that give meaning. I am interested in the way in which theongoing elaboration of the historical discourse. My field of researchhere is theRomaniansociety of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. . and political propaganda. itstruth is not abstract but understood as the guiding principle in the life of the community in question. whether this structure incorporates material which is true or fictive. literature. The myth 0s the nation and the mztb of pmgnss. or interpretation is a matter of myth. It has a profoundly ymboh meaning. Myth presupposes a certain stmct~n. not every distortion. attuned to the necessities and ideals of a particular society. offer in equal measure a key to historical becoming and a system of values which create solidarity and shared projects. havingatendency to reduce the Mythishighly diversity and complexity of phenomena to one privileged axis of interpretation. or a combination of the two. of course. First of all. As a result. in the case of myths. to nametwofundamentalmyths of thecontemporaryworld. which serves to highlight the essence of cosmicandsocialphenomena. I do not note every distortion or adaptation. for the simple reason that onto his real actions there is being projected the ideology of the national state. with and the aim of ensuring that community’s cohesion. but arranged according to the logic of the imaginary). All that is important is that it arranges it according to the logic of the imaginary. but only those accents of the historical discourse that are truly rooted in the structures of a national mythology. hndamentally. has attuned itself to the evolution of Romanian society itself. between the “true” and the “untrue” is the and wrong way of looking at the problem. an ideology of the last two centuries that did not exist in 1600.INTRODUCTION 29 However. The deftnition of myth which I would propose is the following: an imagmary construction (which. adaptation. integraa’ve and simph?cahe.does not meaneither“real” or “unreal”. once again. Historical myths. and a myth of Michael the Brave. it matters little. I do not see any inherent contradiction between the imaginary (in which myth my be subsumed) and reality. To distinguish. It would be ridiculous to reproach someone for using the concept on the grounds that Napoleon and Michael the Brave really lived! The mythologzing of these figures can be seen in the setting of real facts within a model which belongs to the imaginary @istorical or political). through the past. examined at all levels so as to embrace (making appropriate distinctions but without any exclusion or artificial separation) historiography.incloserelation to the fundamental values of the community. It offers both a system of interpretation and an ethical code or model of behavior. with its spectrum of ideologies and projects of all kinds. school textbooks. thisis not my conception. It brings into history a principle of order.the way described in this deftnition. to the projects of the present. Myth presupposes the extraction of an essential tmtb. When Michael the Brave appears as the forger “national unity” we are in the presence of a process of of mythologzing. There is a myth of Napoleon.

My aim here is not to demolish historical mythology. The problem in Romania lies in the deep-rooted illusion of the objectivity of history. or it did.which. an illusion which communism. in which the relation between the imaginary and history cannot be evaded. that “there are a hundred ways of writing history”4oes notappear at all evident in Romanian culture. as the promoter of the unique and incontestable truth.30 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS Romanian historiography is currently in a phase of necessary critical revisions. despite the declared patriotism of their promoters. A simplistic logic is in operation: either communist ideology did not substantially distort history. . Nothing is more revealing of a society’s present and its chosen paths into the future than the way in which itunderstands the burden of its past. What Guizot knew a century and a half agonamely. serves only to hold us back from what a large majority desires or at least says it desires: that is. there can be no question of the demolition of mythology as such. In other historiographies there is no longer anything “revolutionary” about such a treatment of the historical discourse. in which case our mission is to establish the Truth at last1 The fact that distortion is inevitable and truth relative seems to be hard to understand and accept.andevencurrentlyamplified. I repeat. Nationalist myths carry which an authoritarian and xenophobic message are not the best companions on this road. The life of anycommunity is organized around certain mythical constellations. But. only served to consolidate. Every nation hasown its historical mythology. the modernization and democratization of Romanian society and the integration of the country into European structures. This does not mean that I do not reserve the right to point out the wayin which certain historical and politicalmyths are maintainedartificially. The present study may appear unusual. in which case there is no reason to give up the existing schema. We cannot live outside theimaginary.

However. we may consider that the process of the first entry into Europe began to acquire consistency around the year 1830. By around 1830. The alphabet of transition is a perfectillustration of thedirection in which Romanian society was moving. In 1860 the Roman alphabet was established by law. requiring us. appear alongside younger and men.Communism quite of l simply knocked Romania off the normal path of evolution. young aristocrats had already adopted Western clothing. in “European” style. women of all dressed ages. At least a few more decades would have been necessary for Western values and institutions truly to establish strong roots in Romanian soil. theconstruction which it attempted-that of a new type of civilization-has collapsed. Between 1830 and 1860 the Cyrillic alphabet gave way to a mixed form of writing. Ideology. The right-wing autochthonist offensive was followed by the far more lasting and transforming solution the extreme Left.theyoungmorereceptivethanthe old. andwomenmore . and perhaps difficult.. with a tendency for thelattertobecome more prevalent. Once again we are knocking on the gates of Europe and attempting our second entry into. however. But historywas not willing to grant these decades to Romania. totally overturning al its structures and values. Mythology THE FIRST ENTRY INTOEUROPE In the last century there took place something which we are trying to repeat in quite different.CHAPTER ONE Nstory. made gradual progress. to retrace the steps taken a century and a half ago. Chronological markers are a delicate matter.the Western world. men of more mature years. at the end of half a century of exit from history. more conditions today: the entry of Romanian society into Europe. a combination of Cyrillic characters and Roman letters. Iconographyoffers us some amusingimages: in the salons of the time. despite being slowed down by material and mental inertia. affirmed initially among an elite group. Stefan Cazimir sketched has out an interesting scale of receptivity to Westernforms:boyarsseemmorereceptivethanthemiddle or lowercategories. For more than a century the process of Westernization. in the period of the Treaty of Adrianople and the Bghmenaent Organipe. faithfd to the Oriental mode of dress.

In thefirsthalf of the nineteenth century the bearers of the notion of progress were neither the lower classes nor a practically non-existent bourgeoisie.hesidesunhesitatinglywith the latter. .but was. youngboyars. there is no escaping the factthat all the elements of modern civilization. granted. completedaround 1815. which communist historiography called the “bourgeois-democratic” revolution. The same group could also be found at the head of the revolution of 1848. whom he sees as the defenders of Orthodoxy. for the most pait. must be set aside at this point. it is clear that everything started from thetop down. The chronicle of Dionisie the Ecclesiarch. and his indigenous “bourgeois” category was in fact made up of boyars. than a we might describe bourgeoisie in the strict sense. from the boyar class and not from the fragde and disorientated “middle class”. a division within the Romanian elite of the time. with ideas to match.32 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS receptive than men. All in all. which has become deeply rooted as a result of its repetition over almost fivedecades. The wearers of new clothes. whichever particular interpretation we prefer. Lovinescu based his well-known theory of modern Romanian civilization. “external factors”).2 His notions of European politics prefigure the judgements of a ‘‘jupin Dumitrache” or “conu Leonida”. The opposition between “old” and ‘‘new’’ did not separate antagonistic social classes. was far from being highly receptive to what was happening in the west of the continent. A young gentlewoman-an admirer of French fashions and a reader of French novels-would certainly have felt the pulse of the age better than an elderly townsman! Writingand fashion can be seen as the symptoms of a all sectors of Romanian process whichwastoembrace. Moreover. the dominant interpretations of Romanian cultural history had seen modern ideologles and institutions as having been borrowed from the West.withvaryingintensity.1 One idea. It is quite clear that the Europeanization of Romanian society did start in not this social environment. this is the thesis on which E. even we accept that if Romanian society was involved-to a limited extent-in the capitalist exchange economy.3even emphasized But Zeletin the importance of the stimulus provided by Western capital and the Anglo-French bourgeoisie ( i other words. who argued that the effective development of a Romanian capitalist economy was the starting point for sociopolitical restructuring. Prior to this. were. An alternative viewpointwas suggested by Stefan Zeletin. society. characters created by Caragiale more than half a century later. in fact. the social category which as a somewhat insubstantial middle rather class. givenachoice between the French and theRussians. the imagmary. He neither understands nor acceptsitsprinciples and. Communist ideology needed a bourgeois revolution (a necessary moment in the Marxist historical trajectory) and a bourgeois class to implement it. seemstobehighlycharacteristic of the culture and attitudes of the “small townsman” at the time when the process of modernization was about to take off. but so real. ccdemocratic”. Dionisie transforms the French Revolution into a fantastic novel. but where was the bourgeoisie to make it “bourgeois”?In any case. who had suddenly become interested in the grain trade after 1829.

discussions of the concept of nation have been affected. is the idea of the nationalstate or nahon-state. genuflecting moretowardsnationalmysticismthantowardseconomics.not that of Romania). far back into the past. NATIONALISM MODERNIZATION AND The path taken by Romanian society in the nineteenth century can be summed up also had a decisive impact on the interms of threegreatproblems. what isusually meant by nationalconsciousness. If wetakethese two interpretations to their extreme then we must conclude either that we are a nation formed in the modern period for predominantly economic reasons. often in contradictory ways. theresult of thewill of a community. The first is the nationalidea. The very act of imitation presupposes a certain degree of compatibility with the chosen model. But there can be no debate about the fact that the Romanians imitated. the irrevocable mark which may of be traced across a history of millennia. or that we are a nation as old as history itselfl In fact. It is not possible for anyone to imitate any model whatsoever. In recent decades. This does not emerge inevitably from a “unitary economic market” (in 1900 the Romanians of Transylvania belonged to the Hungarian market. whether ethnically homogeneous or not. pushes the premise of a Romanian nation. were imported products. both byStalin’s famous definition (still repeatedtoday. The idea of the nation-state is no more than two centuries old.albeit“anonymously”)and by theexacerbated nationalism of the Ceaugescu period. and so confers abusively an material dimension on what is. as defined by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. on the one hand. from the university to the financial system or the radways. to form itself into a political organism. The Stalinist definition makes the economic unification of the territory obligatory an factor. and the one who takes it up and adapts it. The end result been has a thorough confusion of the concept. an eminently ideal project. in fact. but nor does it arise from some illusory predestination. with living each its own spirituality and destiny distinct from those other etlmic communities (according of to Johann Gottfried Herder’s interpretation in Ideen !pr Pbilosophie der Gescbicbte der . MYTHOLOGY 33 from forms of literature to the constitution.which relationship of the Romanians to their own past. in thephilosophy of the“social contract”.HISTORY. IDEOLOGY. The nationalist tendency. if not actually the Romanian nation itself in all its fdlness. and on the other. This does not mean that Romanian societyas a whole had no part to play.if it is to mean something more than the mere consciousness of an ethnic identity. The process of acculturation presupposes the equal participation of two players: the one who offers a model. Its originscanbe found. These products could only be “imported” by thosemembers of theelite who hadbecome accustomedto Western civilization. in the perception of ethnic communities as organisms. and nowhere is it written that it must endure to eternity.

The present name of the country was first formulated by the Transylvanian Saxon historian Martin Felmer in the eighteenth century. with equal reason on both sides. They were French according to the French definition of the nation. at a time when the very name of Romania did not exist. In the middle years of the nineteenth century the term Dacia . the Provenpl language of the south was closer to Catalan than to French. the all-embracing symbol of the entire national space became Dacia. the Bretons were Celtic. In the Romanian case. that nation would be defined not as an ethnic organism but as the outcome of the free option of its citizens. followed by the overturning of the European system by the Napoleonic Wars and subsequent revolutions. hold to a similar conception of the nation and so are less than eager to integrate with the mass of Romanians). and Germans according to the German definition. if not identical. a unitary language. This is why. At the opposite pole to this cccontractual” understanding of die nation. like the Germans and Hungarians. France. In the case of the Romanian nation (and the nations of Central Europe in general). which affected not only the two states but the whole continent of Europe. who. which has come to be seen by many as the model of the national state. Popular sovereignty and the mystique of “shared blood” are thus the contradictory. or to the expression of the popular will. began as a conglomerate of disparate territories and cultures. This theoretical divergence was the source of endless conflicts. and the people of Alsace German. until well into the nineteenth century. It is easy to see why the people of Alsace were long regarded. a i d it was again employed in 1816 by Dimitrie f Philippide. they cannot accept the division of their people into distinct nations (Romania and the Republic of Moldova). as both French and Germans. Myths of foundation have been elaborated and re-elaborated in such a way as to make the original configuration as close as possible. as a result of the Revolution. but also complementary. The Romanians are defined by a common origin (whether Roman.34 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS Memcbbeit. and a specific spirituality. the German model would insist on ethnicity and history. a shared history. to the present-day national orgmism. Prior to this historical phase the formation a i d evolution of state organisms bore no connection to ethnic and linguistic borders. principles that lie behind the fact of nationhood. a Greek historian settled in Wallachia (in his Histoy o Pamania and Geography $Romania). 1784-1791). and why they find it hard to consider as true Romanians those whose origin and language are different (like the Hungarians of Transylvania. The French Revolution. hastened the crystallization of the concept and led to the actual or ideal division of the continent into a constellation of nation-states. blood and culture. Dacian or DacoRoman). When. the model which is invoked zorresponds to the German formula. for their part. of a modern generic term for the whole territory occupied by Romanians. the French became a nation. The segmentation of present-day life according to the lines of fracture between nations is also manifested in the projection into the past of these real or ideal divisions. The phenomenon is a general Europeai one. Indeed. we may note the absence.

2 percent of the population of Romania still lived in villages.. after a period of relative urban development. or rather Westemkahn. and he was right in the sense that a profound transformation of Romaniansocietyandmentalitiesrequired muchmore thanthesimplenaturalizing of Westerninstitutions through the enthusiasm of an elite.theuniversity. and Dana viitoare (Future Dacia) set forth a whole program of national politics. The “Romanianmodel”. The second great challenge of the nineteenth century was the problem of the modemixaholz. This massive predominance of the population rural had important implications for a wide range of social and political projects. when the term Romania had been officially adopted to designate the little Romania resulting from the union of Wallachia and Moldavia in 1859. METHOLOGY 35 was frequently used to refer to what we know now as Romania. Modern society is the creation of towns and of the bourgeoisie. in which the modern stimulating factors of capitalism democracy and were almost completely absent. Parliament. noless than 81. of Romanian society.were interpreted. In 1899. For almost a century. The The main contradiction in project the of modernization lay in the very structure of Romanian society. the great problem of Romanian society was to be the aligning of the substance with the form.or at least cosmopolitan. until the course of development was disrupted by communism. the groups brought together and set 111 opposition bythe dialectic of social relations were the great landowners and the peasants. a society overwhelmingly rural.past. the hture Greater Romania. and cultural differences. as well as for the various ways in which the national past.and half lost. and so it has remained in the minds of many Romanians. game was half won. Thus the inherent discrepancies between the village and the were town widened. responsible government. and above all between 1860 and 1870.especiallyas urban communities were in fact largely foreign. In their very tides. thecapital of Moldavia. The Histay 4 t b e Romamans in Dana Traialza (1888-1893). of . that is. the young Romanian state adopted almost everything that it could borrow from the European institutionalandlegislativesystem: constitution. present.had76. In the Romanian however. and the spirituality and destiny of the Romanians. For Titu Maiorescu these were “forms without substance”.. symbolizes the direct relationship between ancient Dacia and the modern Romanian nation. legalcodes. IDEOLOGY. in Romanian the case. The question washowto set in motion a patriarchal and authoritarian system.HISTORY. and even future. Even around 1900.theacademy . publications like Docia Lterarzi (Literary Dacia). From such a perspective the town came to seem a foreign excrescence on thehealthybody of ruralRomania. D. dominated by landed property.277 inhabitants. by significant ethnic. Dacia continued to serve as a name for the whole national space of the Romanians. Maga@lzistoricpelztm Dana (Historical magazine for Dacia). but the hardest step stillremained to be taken. Even somewhat later. There is no doubt that the gtving up of Orientalism and traditionalism in writing and clothing implied an approach towards the Western model. principal case. religious. the entire territory inhabited by Romanians. became fixed as a predominantly rural one. Within a short space of time. The title of A. Xenopol’s great work of synthesis. Iqi.

All this suggests a traditionalist and anti-bourgeois sensibility. Rural property. affirmedthepre-existenceandpermanence of great landed properties.4 It would thus appear that about a quarter of the population of the capital were of “non-Romanian” origin. the modernizationof Romanian society. The new agrarian reform of 1921 would abolish the system of latihndia. which had been usurped during theMiddleAgesbythe greatestates of theboyars. The Rural Law of 1864was an attempt at a compromise. Historians.welloverhalf. out ofa population of around250. Two tendencies stand out.000 people. The refusal of modernity-in theurban and bourgeois version which was its only true manifestation-reached such an extent that in the interwar period E.36 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS . is a common theme in Romanian culture over more than a century. The opposition between village and town. transferring most of the land into the hands of small peasant landowners. Thepast was summoned to bear witness for the present and the future.530. highlighted the primordial character of peasant property.issue tended to leave the active forces of modernization in the background. This is without taking into consideration the towns of Transylvania. than in the evolution of urban life and of the Romanian bourgeoisie. around the middle of the nineteenth century. Romanian historians took sides in the struggle over property with their own specific weapons. between the ethnic and cultural purity of the peasant and of the “native” boyar on the one hand. The other.a mental brake that delayed. Even Bucharest seemed a cosmopolitan Towards end city. the of the nineteenth century.000 were of Catholic or Protestant religion and 31. or whether Romania would move in the direction of a system of smallproperties. have shown much more interest in rural issues. where Romanians were in the minority in relation to either Hungarians or Germans. revealed how precarious the balance was. and the cosmopolitan characterof the Romanian bourgeoisie on the other. Lovinescufeltobligedtofight a veritablecampaign for the rehabilitation of theurbanenvironment in literature. especially agrarian property relations. That the debate was essential for Romanian society is beyond question.“therebellion of themedieval elementsin our soulagainstthebourgeois order imposed by theinvasion of foreign capitalism into our patriarchal way of life”. by freeing the peasants from feudal burdens without a substantial transfer of ownership. The question was whether the great landed estates would win in the end. whether large or small.were Jews. culminating in the great rebellion of 1907. starting with Nicolae Bilcescu7sessay On the Social Status of the Workers f t h e Land in the Romanian Ptzizcipahis in Vanoas Times (1846). whom 26. 32. even if it could notblock. but insistence on this .000 were Jewish. a partial transfer of ownership resulting the in coexistence of great estates with small properties. Theproblem was to how remove Romania from the condition of a . was not at the forefront of these. Peasant unrest.StefanZeletinregarded Romanianculture as quitesimplyreactionary. too.747wereRomaniansand48. property relations in agtrculture appeared to be the most urgent problem facing the country. in contrast.5 It is certain that in the first phase of the modernization process.. The first.

and in a . the Romanians were surrounded on all sides by national constructions or national projects which contradicted their own project. Indeed. The new ideas and institutions were all products of the Western laboratory. and thus assimilating. Whether it was a matter of Hungarians or Slavs. The Frenchmodel. The first important break was made in the late eighteenth century in the work of theTransylvanianSchool.quiteoutside all that modernityhad come to mean by the end ofthe twentieth century. The work of the Transylvanianscholars was an important sourceforthere-orientation of the Romanian towards West. Once Hungary itself dominated by theMagyararistocracy)begantoemergeas a national. a groupof Uniateintellectuals who had studied in Vienna and Rome and who were guided. threatening to facilitate the absorption and assimilation of Romania (shad just happened with Bessarabia).HISTORY. theirsharedreligiousidentityseemed to pose an additional danger. The third great problem was that of modeh.infact. and to appeal above all to thegreatLatinsister:France.thoughwithoutnecessarily standing out as a result-“an island of Latinity in a Slav sea”. state. The only solution was to look to the West. of relations between the Romanians and “others”. Romanian nationalism a now stood up against the nationalismof the Slav peoples and Pan-Slavism. As long as generally the shared values were those of Orthodoxy. MYTHOLOGY 37 predominantly rural country. the situation of the Romanians in Transylvania became even more delicate. communism can certainly be seen asa specific attempt at modernization. They suddenly became aware of what theyhad. Up until the nineteenth century the Romanians were integrated in the Eastern cultural space. the brutality of the solutions adopted achieved a forced break from the rural past. From this point of view. like the high steward Cantacuzino who studied in Padua or the Moldavian chroniclers with their studies in Poland. sometimes to the point of obsession.The Russians were no longer the great liberating Orthodox brothers.alwaysbeen. but thesewereneverenough to changethegeneral condition of a society and a culture. things took a radical new turn for them. It was a culture penetrated by the Orthodox idea. especially to the Latin idea. IDEOLOGY. Relations the withCatholic or Protestant Hungarians were no more (or that part of the Habsburg Empire encouraging. Eventhenationalideaandthenation-stateitselforiginated in the ideological evolution of the West. space the but the which tone they set-as the spokesmen of a peasantsociety under foreign domination-only began to be manifested on a larger scale once the elites of the two Romanian states decided to adopt the Western model. but at the cost of upsetting all structures and knocking together a false modern society. Much is made of the occasional Westem connec\tions made by scholars. not the national idea. by the idea of their Latin origins and the need to re-actualize them. the Romanians could feel at home in the East European space. But once the sentiment of national identity had come to the foreground everywhere. and the Romanians from their patriarchal mentality. Indeed. The process of modernization and the affirmationof the national ideaboth led in thesamedirection.

intherealm of the imaginary. without enlightenment”. and indeed is still in evidence today. attachment to the Western model had the effect both of diminishing nationalism and of ampli~ing Set wrist the it. Once the Romanians were seen as different from other people the problem no longer needed to be formulated in terms of superiority or inferiority. Of course. brilliance of Western civilization. on the whole. especially in the first phase of contact. which had been erecting impressive cathedralsat a timewhentheRomanianshadyetto enter history. Their sacrifice had contributed to the ascent of the West. thought that he was in the Empire of Pluto.38 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS sense the “French illusion”. In yet another dramatic and insoluble contradiction. They had lost them. and’ to set sail. A discussion that took place within the Junimist circle some in time the 1870s. another text of 1828. the Romanians had already paid inabundance. Nor should the opposite reactionbeunderestimated.” Referring to the history of Moldavia. The tensionbetweentheWesternmodel and indigenous cultural standards was to continue throughout the period which we are considering.earlyRomanian culture seemed no more than a variety of “Oriental barbarism” (the expression used by Titu Maiorescu). says essentially the samething:the past of the country “presents. which. . Noztveau tabhau historipe et pohiqzte de la Moldavie. between the nationalist Eminescu and the skeptic Vasile Pogor. Ioniiii Tiiutu confesses. without industry.developedinto a fundamentalreference point for nineteenth-century Romanian society. This reaction of astonishment was the dominant one. that the Romanians are a people “without arts. such complexes could not touch the autochthonist model. whichmaybe attributed to the great boyar Iordache Rosetti-Roznovanu. As far as historical discourse is concerned. nothing of interest. Writingin 1828 to Stratford Canning. with all due humility. the Romanianstriedtobreak away fromthe part of Europe to whichthey nonetheless clearlybelonged. Ovid. towards the shores of the West. despite being partially masked for a time by the pro-Western activity of an elite. however. exiled to Dacia. it was also argued (and with more and more insistence as national projects were affirmed with increasing force) that. the Romanians had once enjoyed those essential attributes of civilization of which the West was so proud. So hadtheirancestorsbeenbeforethem: ‘ W d e letterswere flourishing in Rome. For all they were now about to receive. the British ambassador in Constantinople. no act whosememory deserves to be preserved in the annals of the nations”. because they had been obliged for centuries to keep their hands on the sword rather than the pen. provides a perfect illustration of the opposition between autochthonists andunconditionaladmirers of the Western model. The Westernmodel found a less than propitious ground in the rural base of Romanian society and in the rural-autochthonist mentality. would remain strong and ready to burst forth whenthetimewasright. in order to defend Europe from the expansion of Islam.6 On the other hand. on the contrary.

“Can’t you see that we have no history? A people which has no literature. I call the settled wisdom of a people that develops in coiiformity with its own genius and shuns any mixing wt foreigners.”’ ih What we find summarized in these few lines is the great dilemma which has divided Romanian society for the last two centuries. and even in that of the Transylvanian School around 1800. At a time when France could produce MoliZre and Racine the Romanians were in a state of utter barbarism. who managed for a short time (1599-1600) to rule the three territories that were to be united some tliree centuries later in modern Romania. the Moldavians..”1° ”lie picturesque flavor of the expression only serves to confirm the absence of any “Romanian idea”. were the idea of Christendom and his close relations with Emperor Rudolf. which bundles together all Michael’s adversaries without distinction. “the cause of much spilling of blood among Christians”. and said. IDEOLOGY. occupying in the interpretative schema the place which was later to be occupied by the “Romanian idea”. Could Michael the Brave. Michael the Brave appears in the role of conqueror of Transylvania and Moldavia. and not even highly appreciated by his own Muntenians: “The rule of Voivode Michael was hatehl to the Muntenians. The conqueror’s ambition is likewise frequently cited as a motivation for his actions. have been more “patriotic” than the erudite chroniclers of the later seventeenth century? . the memorialist of the group. The prince. the exchange-and it matters little whether or not it is authenticwent like this: ‘What’s all this about the history of the Romanians?” exclaimed Pogor. begins to be perceived as a unifier only towards the middle of the nineteenth century? Such an interpretation is completely lacking in the historiography of the seventeenth-century chroniclers. art. MYTHOLOGY 39 According to George Pam. In the writings of the Moldavian chronicler Miron Costin. and the Hungarians to his rule. apart from the exceptional personality of Michael himself. Romanians and foreigners alike: “He subjected the Turks. with a violence which was not his usual tone: “What you call barbarism. as if they were so many asses. in 1600. or past civilization-such a people is not worth the attention of historians. rose. what with his armies and The perspective of the Muntenians themselves is to be found in The Histoy ofthe Prilzces of IVdhchia. who was sitting in a comer.HISTORY. attributed to Radu Popescu. What they emphasized.” Then Eminescu. A NATIONAL MYTH: MICHAEL THE BRAVE The way in which the myth of Michael the Brave took shape illustrates better than any other historical model the mutations which have taken place in Romanian consciousness..

but hedoes not exploittheideapoliticallyinthe direction of national unity. united. Sincai puts an emphasis on nationalpride. opposition to Engel. And he took Transylvania and gaveit to Emperor Rudolf. in 1837. Not so the Moldavian Mihail Kogiilniceanu. This is how the Transylvanian Aaron Florian saw things in Bucharest.The man who was later to be the great artisan of the union of the principalities givesno signs in his youthhl writing that he was at all sensitive to the national potential of the Michael the Brave episode. published in 1837-and at last gives the voivode’s actions their place in the foundation of Romanian national unity. Aaron Florian dwells at length on Michael’s personality and his period. Pnizce of IVaLhchia. inwhichtheRomanians would have been ableto evolve. Consider how Samuil Micu sums up Michael’s reign in his Short E. alongside theother nations of Europe.suchan interpretation would provoke widespread indignation-yet its author is considered one of the great founding fathers of Romanian nationalism! In his Chmnich of the Romanians and of OtherPeoples. Bojincii. The turning point is marked by Aaron Florian. he always sets the record straight in favor of the Romanians.40 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS Even the Transylvanian School. a Transylvanian who settled in Wallachia and became a teacher at the Saint Sava College in Bucharest.xphnation ofthe History ofthe Romanians (written in the 1790s): “In the year 1593. and especially to his actions in Transylvania. 1830. to nineteenth-century which Romanian consciousness owed so much. who is called the Brave.. He was a great warrior. who fought the Turks and defeated the Transylvanians. like Florian’s volume. Only thus might a new era have begun. follower a of the Transylvanian School from the Banat.. published a biography of the prince in The Romanian Libray. Michael. succeeded to the lordship of Wallachia. to which he devotes considerably more space than the economy of the title might seem to warrant-two hundred pages. amounting to the greater part of the second volume. with the main emphasis being on Michael’s struggles against theTurks. did not make the decisive step. He is determined to defend. we fmd a Michael whose source lies in Miron Costin’s evocation. under the title The Famous Deeds andEnd OfMicbaeLthe Brave.”11 Nowadays. He reproaches Michael only for the fact that he was not able to give the unified Romanian territories an appropriate constitution. A few decades in Damaschin later. however much it sought to affirm the identity of the Romanians and pride in being Romanian. The ingredients of of the myth are there. The national idea is still not Mly developed.the personality of the voivode. There is not the slightest hint of a project of national unity: rather. published. but the myth itself is still absent. Gheorghe Sincai devotes In much space to Michael’sreign. Michael’s dominant characteristic seems to be the “unbounded ambition” which drives him not only to conquer Transylvania but . In his Histoin de h Vahchie. Michael the Brave occupies an essential role hisQzu2 Idea ofthe History ofthe Pnizc+a& of in Wahchia. The idea of a single state for all Romanians had yet to be voiced. whom he portrays in a morally positive light in antithesis to the defects his adversaries. and it was still not time for the achievements of Michael theBravetobeexploitedinthis sense.

This explains “the national hatred of the Romanians against Hungarian tyrants”. The former . Now the ultimate aim of Michael’s actions isclearly proclaimed: nationalztnity. despite his opposition to Bibescu’s regime. the Opening In Word of his 1843 course innationalhistory at the Mihiileani AcademyinIagi. considering that. and he draws from it a certain historical moral: “The names of great conquerors never perish in the memory of the people..The evolution in relation to his earlier essays is pronounced. sometimes contradictory but potentially complementary. ‘73s reign was outstanding in conquests. MYTHOLOGY 41 even to dream of the crowns of Hungary and Poland. “ p e l wanted to create for himself a country as extensive as the land of the Romanians”. who liked to present himself as the worthy successor of the great voivode and orchestrated insistent propaganda along these lines. is Kogilniceanu’s summing up. (1846)”where he gives him the place and importance which the respective themes call for and no more. himself a rulerof Wallachia (1842-1848). a hero indeed. these had been rulers only giving expression in their actions to a widely shared sentiment. His deposition from the throne in 1848 prevented him from becoming a new Michael. a dream which went back to Mircea the. the tyrants with dread. but fatal to Wallachia”. However. Old. certainly not a unifier. . “the first Romanian ruler who fought for national unity”. Now Michael was presented as the one who had united the separate parts ancient Dacia. Kogdniceanu approached the Muntenian voivode with noticeablymore sympathy than he had shown six years previously.”l3 . but the vanity with which he assumed his great predecessor’s heritage did not pass without an echo. An atmosphere increasingly charged with the memory of the hero of Ciilugireni must have made an impression on Bacescu. “nothing had been able to wipe from the heart of all Romanians the tradition of a common life and the desire to establish it once again”.HISTORY. Indeed. begun in 1847 and still not completed when he died in 1852: The History $the Romanians under the Voivode Michael the Brave. as far as the national idea is concerned. of The symbol attained its hll brilliance and functionality in the last and most ambitious work of Nicolae B5Icescu. from the very beginning. and so achieved “the dearest dream of the great Romanian voivodes”. Nicolae Biilcescu gives no signs of any special attraction towards the personality of MichaeltheBraveinhisearliestworksA m e d Power and the Mh‘iary Art fmm the Founding ofthe Pfino$a@y of Walhchia to the Present (1844) and On the SoaalStahls ofthe Workers oftbe Land. Even in Moldavia Michael was beginning to emerge as a symbol. IDEOLOGY.”12 Mchael appears as a great warrior. while virtuous but peacehl princes are forgotten. but Despite his Muntenian origins. This is why “every a timeRomanian was flying flag seen on the summits of the l Carpathians al Transylvania trembled: the Romanians with hope. after 1840 the irresistible ascentof Michael becomes more and more visible. It isanascentinwhichheappearsin two differentlights.aspect is highlighted by Gheorghe Bibescu. as both the glorious ruler of Wallachia and the unifier of the Romanians.

If thenational project was nation inthehomeland of ancient broadlysimilar for all Romanians-asingle Dacia-the transformations which were thought necessary to propel Romanian society into the modern agenaturallyreflectedideologicaldivergences and the specific interests of social groups. The two symbols point towards a great aspiration: ann'ent Dana. followed by thefirst of many full editions i 1878). resurrected for a moment by Michael the Brave and destined to be re-embodied in the Romatlia tomorrow. Together.42 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS Biilcescu's book marked a new departure in Romanian historiography. the two Romanian sister lands. when we turn our attention to the great problem of reform. conservative. . From being a warrior and Christian hero he becomes a symbol of Romanian unity. which had led in case towards unity. the history of an idealRomanianstate. was explicitly treated as national history. with a notable intensification at the time of the 1848 revolution and again at the time of the union. The influence of the work on Romanian national consciousness was considerable. Michael the Brave was set up decisively and n defmitively as the first founderof modemRomania. there was a growing interest in the figure of the voivode. Wehaveseenalso how Dacia is frequently invokedin this same period as the expression the primordial of unity of the Romanian land. Thanks to Bilcescu. of the three Romanian lands. the generation that carried out the 1848 revolution and later achieved the union of the principalities and the foundation of modem Romania. paralleled by a tendency to attribute a unifying role to certain Moldavian rulers. above all to Stephen the Great. despite delay the in its publication (a partial edition in 1861-63. of DIFFERENT PROJECTS. This national. so too did themodernization of Romaniansociety. as the history of a national desideratum which had never ceased to be manifested throughout the centuries. Thus we can observe Michael undergoing the Brave process a of transfiguration between 1830 and 1860. and historical orientation belongs essentially to a single generation.thehistoricalevocationsbecome contradictory. political. in Moldavia as well as in Wallachia. These are the years when theideal of union in aRomanianstate. DIFFERENT HISTORIES Just as the national idea sought a justification and model in the historical past. For the first time the medieval history of the Romanians. came be to projected onto the historical past. Towards the middle of the nineteenth century the past was restructured according tothreedistinctpolitical-historicalsensibilities: democrazfc. Michael and Stephen came to symbolize any of the separate yet shared history.completeandunitary.anidealRomaniaprefiguredin consciousness. and especially the to question of property. and Lberal'. Compared with the relative homogeneity of the national discourse. In the years leading up to the union of the principalities in 1859.

rtate. R o m a n i . who invoked historical arguments among others. a society of landowning freemen. resulting in “the social monstrosity that an entire country is enslaved to a few individuals”. profoundly democratic: democratic in Bdcescu’s peasant variant and democratic.14 What emerges from Biilcescu’s study is the illegitimacy afthe greate. “who. from whicheverythingelsederived. The Romanian boyars had even anticipated. but property. and had long remained. He. the principal question was not libertyas such. This unhappy evolution brought with decline the it of the Romanian Only lands. and in a much more reasonable way. too. but was open to all the sons of the fatherland”. and Solon cannot stand comparison”. was a skilled upholder of boyar property rights. HISTORY. together with Rddu Negru. . founded our princedom on the basis of institutions so humane and egalitarian that the laws of Numa. ~* . after the foundation of the principalities. the emancipation of the peasants and their endowment with property could remedy the situation. in Heliade R5dulescu’s boyar variant. it had to be sustained by a social revolution. Moreover. and force” had led to the ruining of the small properties and their incorporation into large estates. When the Romans colonized Dacia “they shared the land among the colonists according to their custom”. Otherwise. things could not go quite so far. At the other extreme. the and country w s a divided into “two hostile camps conflicting with interests”. for the old boyars created new boyars out of the sons of their servants. the prime minister assassinatedin 1862.MYTHOLOGY IDEOLOGY. making them family membersand giving them their daughters and nieces in marriage. argues the great scholar in his Antitheses. . From beinga moderate revolutionary in 1848. in 1848. solution-in fact a rural-democra6c solution adapted to the profile of Romanian society-found in Nicolae B3cescu its great historian and a politician of uncommon consistency. which brought down the sons of nobles.”l5 The democratic spirit of the agehistory proved to be imported from the West-demanded it! . Ynterest. 43 The democratic. need. Romanian society was originally. Far from being the subjugators Balance between of the peasants. For Biilcescu. . the veryexistence of theRomaniannationwas under threat. . Ion Heliade Mdulescu later shifted towards an uncompromisingly pro-boyar stance. Carried of hishistorical demonstration into to its full consequences. Clearly. It was also he who upheldthe notion of universal suffrage. boyar here the class “was not hereditary. Barbu Catargiu. Biilcescu defended the most radical point of view expressed in the Property Commission. If the national revolution was to be victorious. Michael the Bravemadethepeasantsserfs. However. it was the boyars. the conservative thesis upheld the historical land rights of the boyars and the indispensable role of this class in the present as in the past.. by his famous ‘%on&’. advocating policies which would have led to a partial but significant expropriation and the creation of substantial small peasant properties.r. Lycurgus.thetransposition social reform would have meant the restructuring Romanian society as a society of exclusively of smallpmpertieJ. the democracy of the FrenchRevolution:“Theoldboyarclasshad nothing tofear in the French Republic. The usurpation had come later.

and may very easily be inflamed. set out to de-dramatize the situation by improving the image of the boyars and restoring the legality of the estates. but the existing state of things both in fact and inlawwas on their side anyway. The system was only established in the West.’’16 Barbu Catargiu’s thinking was basically reactionary. and they did not hesitate to do so. “Public opinion”. in essence. the more radical the project.] Let us deal with each question from the point of view of law and political economy. however. Here.. but his conclusion is different. by those who want to break away from it. the Roman colonists had remained mastersof their own land. The more transformhg an ideology aspires to be. However.areconcerneddeserves to be noted..toaclearlyoutlinedhistorical model. The boyars. and even Decebalus. The skepticism which he manifests as far as historical models. or have bought it with all title deeds in order. itsreferencestothepast. Any project or ideologyneedsmodels. [. great “Feudalism never existed in Romania”. Mircea the Voivode.too.. The road to the future presupposed a re-actualization of origins.hetellsus. to remedy what had been a usurpation there. It was those who sought to modify this state of things who were’ compelled to appeal to history. as a resultof Germanic conquest. Alecu Russo’s Song of Romania (published in 1850 and 1855) could appreciated a be asveritable hymn of liberalism. has own The French revolutionaries invoked Sparta and republican Rome. he affirmed in June 1859. more or lessimaginary. There was no usurpation of anykind. for Russo individual liberty is the hndamental historical and political principle from which all others flow? . [. This was why revolutions had been necessary in the western part of Europe. “is formed. by the pompous words of sentimentalism and patriotism about Trajan. Ultimately there is no other reality than the past. that is not how things generally are in fact. Catargiu’s starting point is the same as Bdcescu’s. but the present. the more it appeals to the past: to a past restructured according to thenecessitiesandideals of the present. The past is more often invoked. The presentownersholdtheland by inheritance from the earliest times (the Roman period). If the supreme values for Bdcescu were property and the nation. to a history that could set an idealized past against the corrupt present. While offering a necessary sacrifice to the game of history he insistently draws attention to the fact that what counts in the end is not the past. All the same.areextremelyfrequentandsignificant.thehistoricalargumentsinvokedbyBarbuCatargiucarrya limited weight in his political discourse. Thus the great estates are l l l y justified historically. and invoked in the most imperative terms. not to mention their economic justification. This is just what we find in liberal ideology. he points out.Evenwhen it is the future that is at stake. the models are taken from the past. more modernthan that of the revolutionaries! We might perhaps have expectedthat it would be conservativeswho would be more susceptible to the siren song of the past.. What could be more modern than liberalism? However. could invoke history. The logic of the imaginary its rules. but his logic was.44 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS too.I Let us not be led astray by speeches.

and organize navigation companies”. Among the Slavs.HISTORY.20 As for the constitution and political system. took the plowshare in one hand and the sword in the other and came to plant the iron of liberty in a new land. in mentality at least. C. and by. What could be more normal. was very liberal and. in 1660. a young and powerful land. by their emigration to America after the fall of the English Republic. than the development of avenues of communication? However.” Those who settled here were a kind of political refugees and refugees of conscience. However. which he set on the path of liberalism. construct harbors. . The Romanian nation “not only has a mind and soul prepared for democracy.I just as the Puritans of England did.” Within the new Roman colony “democratic traditions were preserved with holy arid pure reverence”. so all the evidence allows us to say that the democratic and free population of Italy. both nations being equally devoted to the religion of liberty: “[ .. in order to escape from the fiscal yoke. What is impressive is his passion for history and the way he understood how to draw from the national past the elements of a liberal doctrine. according to the conditions of the time. which had in fact come not from the Roman colonists but from the nineteenth-century West! And indeed the Roman colonists are set to work once again. as we know. They had not come from Rome. Hence there is a resemblance between gie founding of the Romanian nation and the creation of America. but has preserved it unceasingly in its heart and in its customs”.I. Briitianu belong to the genre of political discourse and their author counts as one of the principal founders of modern Romania. channel rivers. Thus we are told that ‘(the colonization of Dacia was carried out in the name of. the writings and speeches of I. lay railways. and as it is everywhere in the Latin and Greek nations”. from the insolence of favorites and the threat of being disinherited. when the revolutionary plotter had become a responsible statesman. here there was a regime.. MYTHOLOGY 45 The Song ofRomania is a poem. I..lg Likewise. joint ownership predominated. if not in his boyar origins. it sould be known that “Romania has a past. and while in other states there was the most absolute despotism. In comparison with the “rural” Bacescu. The aim of the government in 1883 was no more than “to constitute property as it was before in Romania. From an article published by Briitianu in RepztbLca rom2?zZ (November 1851) we learn that the Romans who settled in Dacia preserved their republican spirit intact. which. respect for private property was affirmed by a recourse to origms. the great road-builders: let the Romanians prove worthy descendants arid “build highways.. but none the less visionary for all that: the two facets are not necessarily antithetical. but from rural areas. He was a pragmatic politician. far from the infected atmosphere of decaying despotism [. where the flame of liberty had been extinguished. where the old beliefs and virtues were still strong. while “the Romanians borrowed the idea of individual property from the Greeks and Romans”.*8 Even later on. the power of an idea. IDEOLOGY. here again we find an invocation of the Romans. Briitianu lost no occasion to justify the laws and acts of modernization in terms of historical models and precedents. Briitianu comes across as an urban bourgeois figure. C. as the nineteenth century progressed.

The extreme expression of this interpretation is to be found in the Latinist school.21 When Law the of Communities came under discussion in 1878. history offers precedents and lessons. was presented. parliamentary”. as the re-actualization of a transfigured past which extended from ancient Dacia up tothedecline of the Romanian lands in the late Middle Ages. The Romanians were descendants of the Roman colonists. As a Latin nation by origm and vocation they could hardly do otherwise than integrate into the European community of the Romance-speaking peoples. withperhapssomeminimalconcessiontothenative Dacians. Briitianu pointed out that the aim was basically no more than the revival of a Romantraditionthathad long beenmaintainedhere: “These Commvnities existed in Romania too. Towards the middle of the nineteenth century thequestion of origins appeared to have been clarified.thegreatpoliticianneverceasedtoaffirm the necessity of studying the origins of the Romanians if their national identity was to be marked and their present interests upheld. There is nothing strange in this: I-Listoy aLwgsjza-t$ieseveytbhg. In 1853. any difference between Romanians and Romans disappears. almostpoint by point. For any political “mutation”. with the foundation of Rome in 753 BC. whenour strength was exhausted by the struggle agatnst barbarian invasions. He himself published essays and gave lectures on this theme.linguistandhistorianand one of the most respected Romanian scholars of the time.46 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS I might say. a work of synthesis which began. that foreign rulers came and abolished the Community [.. Sometimes these c a be unconsciously humorous. Briitianu could not miss the chance to announce that Stephen the Great had been the “oldest friend” of Austria!u Thus theliberalprogram. The chronological . When. Romania joined ~ the Triple Alliance.]. the exacerbated prolongation of the Transylvanian School into the second half of the nineteenth century. without more ado.. History thus provides epaL justification for the essentially rural democracy of Bilcescu.andtheconservatism of Barbu Catargiu. The history of the Romanians is presented as a continuation of Roman history. in 1883. the bourgeoisliberalism of Briitianu. and it was only later.”22 Moregenerally.theundisputedleader of thisLatinist current. in the most favorable version from the point of view of promoting Romanian interests. and their history is one and the same. Indeed.morecapablethanitslessthansplendidimage in the present of ensuring the Romanian nation a respectable place in the concert of European nations.thoughitwastheclosest of all to the Western bourgeois model. THE GLORIFICATIONTHE PAST OF Another aim pursued by means of history was the demonstration of noble origins and of a gloriouspast. They were the same people. August Treboniu Laurian. published his Histoy oftbe Romaniam.

serve immigrationist schemes. First Sincai. and later Laurian. The archaeological study of the issue. .With the launch of the immigrationist thesis in the late eighteenth century. and the invocation 0. and the external data-generally late. The chronicle covers the entire dark millennium from the Aurelian withdrawal in 274 down to 1274 (the supposed reign of BogdanDragog). the center of gravity of Romanianhistory for over a millenniumwasshifted south of the Danube. Many found the document suspect from the start. But this was only a minimum requirement. The ruler of Moldavia.Romanianhistorianswere tempted to emphasizeand amplifythe phenomenonof Romanianpresence south of the Danube. and vague-left the ground free for all sorts of hypotheses. In a manner which could. As far as the continuity and historical affirmation of the Romanian people in the actual space of Dacia and modern Romania was concerned. Thedocument provoked a considerable -historiographicaland political stir. To sustain the significance of Romanian history at a European level. limited in quantity. even whiletryingto combat immigrationism. in the works of Franz Joseph Sulzer and Johann Christian Engel. Opinions weredivided. TheRomanians thus integrated themselves with greater history agam and avoided the marginalization to whicha withdrawal within the strictly defined space of ancient Dacia would have condemned them. a major problem confronting Romanian historians was how to demonstrate Romanian continuity north of the Danube. Grigore Ghica. The “filling in” of this millennium became a favorite theme of the Romanian historical imaginary.thereader will be surprisedtodiscoverthat Tudor Vladimirescu’s revolution took place in the year 2574! Despite Laurian’s optimism there remained large unknown spaces in the early history of the Romanians. with the Romanian element even dominant in certain periods. the great chancellor of Drag09 VodQ.HISTORY. something more than an affirmation of indigenousorigins in terms of mereethnicsurvivalwascalled for. ‘of a Latin original compiled by Huru. but itspartisansincludedsomedistinguished scholars. the starting point towards the middle of the nineteenth century was almost zero. which was better attested in the sources and capable of being integrated into a greater history.f linguistic arguments. especially during the “dark millennium” between the Aurelianwithdrawalandthe founding of themedievalprincipalities. which was itself derived from a much older text written by the campodtrx Arbure. Thus. set up a commission of specialists in literary historical and matters to check the authenticity of thesource. MYTHOLOGY 47 system adopted by Laurian carries the integration of the Romanians into Roman history to its logical conclusion: as all dates are recalculated from the foundation of Rome. in 1856. presented as a translation made by the high sword-bearer Petru Claniiu in the time of Stephen the Great. IDEOLOGY. however unintentionally. developed a theory according to which the Bulgarian tsardoms were in fact mixed Romanian-Bulgarian states. it was possible to believe that the whole question had been miraculously solved. For a while. Gheorghe Asachi’s printing house offered to the world the Cbrolzicle o j Htrtw. In that year. were still in the future.

Inspired by the CJ3ronieh of H H ~but . written by Constantin Sion. The famous linguist Alexandru Philippide still found it necessary. with its numerous fictitious or semi-fictitious genealogies. thus setting himself against the national party and the union. Here. at last. and in various . who was also author or co-author of the Chronicle.where a greatassembly took place. to test his powers in a detailed study to prove it a forgery. was the much sought after testimony to Romanian continuity! state was organized as a The sort of republic. This was also the source of the Arcbondohgy of Moldafia. the product of the “document factory” of the Sion family. stimulatedeven more by his ownconvictionsand fantasies-anamalgam of national messianism. Christian spirituality. who would exploit its historical significance the full. They decided to stay where they were and resist the barbarians. who the andIon Heliade Riidulescu.48 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS notably Gheorghe Asachi himself. but even more to the rights of Moldavia as a state in its own right. through the Romanians. in line with the orientation of the minority-including Gheorghe Asachi-who were less than enthusiastic about the prospect of union with Wallachia. published text. which even were supported on occasion by the Cbmnich of H H ~ . conservatism. An accent was put on the historical rights of Moldavia over Bessarabia. on Roman lines-a federative Moldavian republic (the document refers strictly to the area between the Carpathians and the Dniester). so the canpodax Arbure informs us. democracy-the and father of modern Romanian culture cast his own light on the continuity issue in his synthesis Elements oftbe Histoy oftbe Romanians (1860 and 1869). evidence of old indigenousdemocraticinstitutions. at a high level of political organization and civilization. The message needs to be seenin the context of the moment in which it appeared: this was 1856. and the high sword-bearer Claniiu are completely imaginary figures and the Chronicle a forgery. The projection into the foreground of world history with respect to a period in national history about which nothing was fact in known also was a chief preoccupation of Heliade Riidulescu. is worth mentioning that the It author of the Arcbondohgy.whichhadbeenseized by the Russians in 1812. people began to gather inIagi. to When the Roman withdrawal was announced. the great chancellor Huru.andtheunderlining of the identity of Moldavia and of the fact that Bessarabia had belonged to it from the earliest times. in 1882. There is no need to repeat here that Arbure the campodtlx. A number of objectives were thus attained: the demonstration of state continuity.24 The controversy around the Chronicle of Htlrti did not die down easily. which he saw as a ccfools’project”. The political meaning of the forgery thus becomes clearer: the document testified to the continuity of the Romanians in general. campaigned in 1858 for Grigore Sturdza as candidate for the throne of Moldavia. for the simple reason that it filled in a gap and gave material substance to the illusion that Roman history had continued. the yearof the Congress of Paris and of the decision to consult the principalities about their possible unification. The document provoked moreof a stir than the modest ability of the forgers deserved. At the same time there was an affirmation of Moldavian distinctiveness.

and even priority. In their respect for the concrete data of history they are far from the fantasies of Heliade or the forgeries of Sion..HISTORY. in its institutions concerned with liberty.. to be the undisputed repositories of the values of the two great models of world history: the Roman and theJudeo-Christian. was. and in those concernedwiththebrotherhoodandsolidarity of peoples.Kogdlniceanu captured in a striking synthesis these characteristics of a national history abruptly thrust into a greater European history. Dacia remained ‘(autonomous and Christian”. Their civil code was the Pentateuch [. has not yet caught up with the first Romanians. Kogdlniceanu and N. now crystallized for the first time: on the one hand. or Christian democracies. The Romanians.. better known. for centuries they were the defenders of religion and civilization agatnst Islam and Asiatic barbarism.. and fraternity. the role of the Romanians in defending Europeancivilization.I They were among the first to establish religious tolerance and liberty of conscience. of course. MYTHOLOGY 49 chapters of The Bahnce between Antitheses. the desire to occupy a privilegedplaceinEuropean history-a desirewhich is perfectly understandable and in full agreement with the political project of affirming the nation in the communityof Europe. IDEOLOGY.” At the other end of the controversial millennium.”26 According to Kogdniceanu. the Romanianswerealso among the first peoples to write their history in their .organizedWallachia on the lines of biblical Palestine.”~ The Romanians were thus proved.. autonomous and confederate [. equality. the constitution of RaduNegru. There is a particular manner of highlighting the excellence of the Romanian past that wefindinthe historians of the 1848 generation. But even this history.. “are one of the peoples who distinguished themselves the most in the Middle Ages by military virtues and by the activities of the spirit. but they manifest. In any case. of Romanian achievements in a wide variety of fields. In his introduction to the French edition @ublished in 1845) of extracts from the Romanianchronicles. inoneversion or another of thisfictive history. The two registers combined in a contradictory relationship-sacrifice for the sake of Christian Europe resulted in the wearing downof a remarkable civilization.I. to the same extent. no less than the unknown history which preceded it. the chancery. it was constituted andcontinued to govern itself in ecclesiae. in twelve Christian democracies or autonomous counties. Bacescu. Following the Aurelian withdrawal. he writes. the Romanian political tradition w s republican. in and schools. to embrace the advantages of printing. with rulers being elected and a originally holding power for only five years (a ‘%historical precedent” made up-todate in the revolutionary program of 1848). M. They were the first in Europe to have a regular army. beginning with thereal foundation of the principalities in the fourteenth century. including the greatest among them. in1247. andon the other. lent itself to an appreciable process of amplification. [. The later phase of Romanian history. and to adopt the national language for use in the church. which wereto have enduring echoes in Romanian consciousness. the antiquity.I. All this was proof of the fact that “Europe. Two themes. “Organized according to the institutions of the primitive ecclesia.

was only a historical accident.’~27 Andsomedecadeslater. . expresses an identical point of view: “The Romanian army was the first standingarmy in Europe. Villehardouin was already writing in French at the beginningof the thirteenth century. evenits precursors. when all of Europe was sunk in barbarity. the Romanians were becoming its defenders. but the logic of the predestination and privileging of a certain nation is exactly the same in both cases. his pretension may seem less flagrant than the invocation of the various Romanian Yirsts”. The highlighting and amplification of specific national values.50 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS national language-a surprising claim. as the Romanians could invoke “many examples which were later imitated by countries more advanced than ourselves”. and even an inclination to patriotic falsification. Biilcescu. Behind the nationalist discourse we clearly can read the desire for integration with Europe. a pronounced taste for anidealizedand “heroicized” MiddleAges. a historical discourse suffused with patriotism. and paradoxically. Latin branch. in 1889. and unwanted integration into the Oriental world. politicians) set out to demonstrate that the history of previous centuries. Kogilniceanu. I Already in the fourteenth century. In France. We are clearly witnessing a nationalist amplification of history. The excessive exaggeration in the Romanian case reflects the extreme disproportion between reality and ideal. Secondly. a particular context. The first of these is the spirit of romantic historiography in general. but rather the bringing of Romanian society closer to Western civilization and the acceptance of Romania as ‘. inA m e d Power. The Romanians were doing no more than adapting the general formula to their own history. given that the earliest chronicles written in Romanian date only from the seventeenth century.thephenomenonmustbe understood in. inmany respects. decline. a history of subjection. did not hesitate to identify agdin “their beginning right here in our country”. speaking in the Chamber of Deputies about the adoption of the principles of “great 1789”.However. [. thenationalist amplification of the past did not in anyway serve an autochthonist project. When Michelet places Franceas other historians andideologistsplaceItaly or Germany-atthehead of the peoples of the world. Historians and politicians (and like and were both historians and some of them. the valorization of origns. the Romanianshadinstitutionswithwhichtheywouldhavegoneon to become a powerful nation in Europe. are all characteristic of the romantfc and nationalist tendency of the times. Romania would be able to return to the normal pattern of its evolution. if unityhadprevailed among 1Aem. and that once the effects of this were cast aside. and.2* From the pupils of the West. and especially in relation totwo essential coordinates.1 state with full rights among the other European states.... Kopjlniceanu Bidcescu. a pattern marked by its Latin origins and by a destiny in no way inferior to that of the Western..

The beginning of this process had taken place in there were a the German universities in the eighteenth century. in the conditions of discrimination to which they were subjected and in the resulting intensification of national movements in the territories under foreigp Transylvania. insisting. but in less favorableconditions than would have been offered by a society unaffected by conflicts and projects of this sort. revitalization His of the immigrationist thesis came at just the right time to serve the Hungarian political project-the dream of a Greater Hungary and a hndamentally Hungarian Transylvania in which the Romanians had appeared relatively late. posed a challenge to historiography. and Bessarabia. he is capable-at least theoretically-of avoiding simplistic and infantile forms of mythologizing. here it was possible to acquire the norms of a history based on the rigorous study of sources. of divergent national projects. Secondly. a history that at last sought to be free of fantasy. HISTORY. Germany becomeundisputed had the world center of historiography. 51 FROM ROMANTICISM THE CRITICAL SCHOOL TO The nationalist-romantic formula in Romanian historiography long outlasted the chronological limits of Europeanromaiiticism. with a strong echo in public opinion.MYTHOLOGY IDEOLOGY. The national objective became a priority for the Romanians. theproblem of continuity took on highly conflictual accents following the publication of Robert Roesler’s Romanian Stndies (Romamscbe Sttidien. with a few exceptions and nuances. as indeed this book itself demonstrates. by 1900 their number had increased to 175. The professional is not beyond all mythological temptations. A first explanation lies in the way in which the national problem became more acute in the last decades of the nineteenth century. of course. National antagonisms were supported by historical arguments. France lagged behind. The implications at an emotional level. rule: Bukovina. 1871). on Romanian continuity on the former territory of Dacia. A step had to be taken towards the “disciplining” of historical studies and their bringing into line with the methodology and institutional system of Europe.Around1800 dozen university chairs of history in the German space. Far from havingexhausted its political-historiographical resources. However daring his constructions may be. The strength auld persistence of the current find their justification in the general conditions of Romanian political and intellectual life. the Hungarians and Romanians were tracing the ideal frontiers of the present or future. . Through history. However. evidently served a no less clearlydefined political and national goal. but professionalization had also made great progress in its universities-there were 71 chairs of history by the end of the nineteenth century. they are built on a real foundation of verified facts. we must note the‘slow pace at which Romanian historiography went through the process of professionalization. The Romanian response. The historical discourse continued to be profoundly marked by the ideal project of a unified nation. Was it possible to reconcile the demands of research with the requirement to adhere to a particular national program?Could the historian be a patriot while speaking in a v w q about the past of his nation? He could.

a geniuseven.52 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS The first two Romanian universities. on a larger scale. he became well known not for the few booklets of little value that he published. but for the more spectacular fact of his fleeing the country. albeit modest.proved to be a hard worker. As a nationalist of liberalpoliticalsensibility(hewaselecteddeputy on the Liberal Party lists in 1867 and 1884). His opposite number in Iagi.however.therestbeing no more thana Romanianversion of VictorDuruy’ssynthesis. to escape the rigors of the law. Only V. The principal historiographical personality of the 1860s and 1870s was Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu (1838-1907. of bringingtogetherhistory.was somewhat different. in Ia$iand Bucharest) were occupied for decadesby people who had little to do withtheprofession of historian. or. Lovinescu in a more optimistic direction (withthe forms gradually creating their own substance). and his passionate. of theprofessionalization of history. The theory of “formswithoutsubstance”. was a politician and an admired orator of his time.AndreiVizanti was teachingthehistory of the Romanians in Iagi. made his reputation with a textbook of world historytowhichhehadaddedonlyhisname.formulated by Maiorescu and developed by E. combined with an attraction. but in no sense ahistorian. an autodidact withanimmensebody of knowledge”especial1yinthefield of linguistics. patriotism places him among the discoverers of all sorts of autochthonous Yirsts”.and history-a sparklingmind.. Unconstrained by such a discipline. The four chairs of history(History of theRomanians and World History. towards arbitrary elaborations and pure intellectual exercises. Nicolae Ionescu.PetreCerniitescu.philology. under accusation of embezzlement. could be applied here with ample justification.linguistics. his theory the circulation of words. such those concerning as of the role of the Dacians in the formation of the Romanian people. if naive.professor of World History in Bucharest until 1892(!).etc. A. at Iagi and Bucharest.economics. In principle. professor of the History of the Romanians at Bucharest University from was not matched 1864 to 1901. his influence on history was enormous. and not in terms of the disciplining of the field! His solid contributions. with the values in which he believed. His most brilliant monograph Ioan Veda' the Tem’bh (1865) presents the ruler as the . his project interdisciplinary research. although his industry by hiscompetence.Meanwhile. and his fertile ideas. Before this date. In 1874 Hasdeu became professor of Comparative Philology at the University of Bucharest. The reality. His extensivepapersarerathercompilations than original works. but wid1 fantasticinclinationsandatendencytowardsthe most unexpectedintellectual constructions. including the publication of an impressive number of Slav documents and old Romanian texts. these dates could mark the beginning. Hasdeu did not hesitate to infuse history.anthropology. sometimes in defiance of the evidence. as for some time after it. historiographical romanticism free had rein. Urechia. were founded in 1860 and 1864 respectively. Until almost the end of the century it was not the chairs of history that would promote the norms of the erudite and critical school which characterized contemporary European historiography. are seductive and misleading.

limited to the contribution and exwple of a few historians. came to the chair of Slav Languages in 1891.and. which were being implemented as the work was published. and even a great historian. inclined towards the theory of history arld towards great works of synthesis. coupled with his undoubted knowledgeand other merits.wereto further complicate the path towards the affirmation of critical norms in Romanian historiography. A. even symbolic. with an electoral system which anticipates universal suffrage. In these conditions. a product of the Austrian school. (I’his was a “critical appraisal’’ of Xenopol’s work The Theory OfRoeshr. and the politicalcontinuityfromDacia.HISTORY.actuallyanticipatethe reforms of Cuza. Cerniitescu. Hence the reticence of the “critical school” where.aSlavicistwithanidenticalmethodological background. became professor of the History of the Romanians at the University of Bucharestin1896. We may consider as a key moment the publication of the first hndamental study by Dimitrie Onciul in 1885.totheRomanian principalities. language and in old Romanian culture: although he was a Slavicist he was also a Bessarabian. Ioan Bogdan. . IDEOLOGY.The Moldavian prince secularizes the wealth of the monasteries and thinks of a very intelligent fiscal reform. the strength of the Romanians in the Middle Ages. the chair of World History went.whichweredirectknowledge of the sources and immersion in strictly specialized research. There is no doubt that he was a historian in the most as he was complete sense of the word. he tried to minimize the importance of the Slav element in the Romanian. Xenopol’s work and general approach are concerned. an opponent of Russia and a partisanof Latin solidarity. the situation of the peasantry.It was a remarkable beginning. D. almost miraculously. to Nicolae Iorga. Xenopol began his career as professor of the History of the Romanians at the University of I q i in 1883. an extension of that of Germany. The prestige of Hasdeu. the process of professionalization did not begin to take shape untilthe 1880s andbecamefirmlyestablishedonly in the1890s. capable of improving. Only in subsequent years and decades would professionalism acquire a solid basethrough the arrival on the scene of new generations trained in the spirit of a demanding methodology. on the death of P. MYTHOLOGY 53 European political mind of the sixteenth century and Moldavia as in many ways a modern country.throughtheRomanEmpire. but. The reforms of Ioan Vodii. stressing the “character of the Romanian nationality as the basis of its legislation”. Hasdeu would recommend law even that makers give consideration to indigenous laws and institutions in the process of modemizing Romania.but only a beginning.29 In his later works-the most important of which is his Critical Histoy of the Romanians (1873and 1875)“Hasdeu strovetohighlightthevalue of the old Romanian civilization. he did not fully meet therequirements of thetime.asthehistorianinterpretsthem.) Onciul. While he was an opponent of pure Latinism and argued for the importance of the Dacians in the Romanian synthesis. in 1894. indication of the radical restructuring of Romanian historiography. The leap from Cemiitescu to Iorga is a significant.

They felt no need to refer to the past. which moved to Bucharest. unaffected by the pressures of politics and ideology. Those who set the tone of the movement in its formative years. cultural and conception was evolzttionism. Onciul and Bogdatl were Junimists. inclined not to traditionalism but to the gradual. This programmatic detachment fromhistorycoincidedwiththe Junimists’ conception with respect to the methodology of historical research. something quite new in the nineteenth-century Romanian context! has remained to this day It the only notable attempt in Romanian culture to detach the present from the past. “history as it really was”-in Ranke’s famous formulation-was to spread all over Europe as the historiographical ideal of the “critical school”. the result not only of conviction but also of a polemical spirit. they promoted an objective history. either to uphold their privileges like old-style conservatives or to radically change Romanian society by invoking fictive historical models the like liberals.wherethe most important membershad by thensettled. They believed the in necessary solidity of a construction that could not be improvised. such as is inevitable in the affirmation of any new current. This translated into a 180degree turn. to bring current problems under discussion without the obsessive need to refer to real or imagmed historical precedents. Having been trained in the spirit of the times at the great European universities. 1863-64. Of course. and Iorga was. unattainable. but nor could they accept liberal voluntarism. not without its share of exaggeration. reconstructed strictly on the basis of meticulous and rigorous documentary investigation.wereyoungmenwith a solidbackground of study in theWest. they did not believe in reactionary immobilism. organic evolution of Romanian society along the lines offered by the Western model. They could look at the past with detachment. Starting from German methodology.Theyweretheexponents of a modern-style conservative doctrine. any like ideal. a “fellow traveler’’ of the movement. From 1867 it Junimea was founded as a culturalsocietyinIagiin published the journal Colzvorbiri berare (Literary conversations).54 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS THE JUNIMIST PARADIGM: DETACHMENT HISTORY FROM It is now time to deal with the paradigm change attempted by the Junimea group in Romanian historiography and the way in which the Romanians in general related to their past. Polemical attitudes towards nationalist amplifications be can found before . Junimism was perfectly synchronized with the movement of ideas in the West. . criticismdid not appear out of theblueinRomanianculture. From this point of view. in 1885. The key to their philosophical. The model. andthis in itself wasa very important change of paradigm. political. foremost among them being Titu Maiorescu(1840-1917)incultural matters and Petre P. for a time. which was of course an ideal one and. and particularly in the Germanenvironment in the case of the leaders of the current.was that of a history reconstituted scientific with coldness. Carp (1837-1919)inpoliticalmatters.

their temptation to add to thevirtuesanddeeds Roman ancestors.. intended highlight to all sorts of . Against them wemust summonunswerving truth and say that our regeneration cannot begin unless it is in the spirit of modern culture. In his inclination to demonstrate that we are the uncorrupted descendants of the Romans..” Nor arebooksfromthebeginnings of modern Romanian culture rated more favorably.. too. the praise and satisfaction with which they are regarded by intelligent Romanians as valid scholarly achievements. Everything is there. as indeed it did in the 1870s after the publication of Laurian and Massim‘s uninspired dictionary. nationalist as he was and ready in his turn to amplify Dacian roots. . The Latinist school. too. so that there was no two peoples.in existence. However.ontemporaries: “[. and authentic valuesfrom pseudo-values. giving it the strength of a veritable filtration system capable of separating the true from the false... IDEOLOGY. With or without Junimea. History up to the begmning of the nineteenth century is dismissedtwo in words: “Oriental barbarism. . -. Kogiilniceanu took a stand against “Romanomania”. . was scornful of this tendency. Maior maintains in his fourth paragraph that the Dacians were totally exterminated by the Romans. It is worth quoting in its entirety the passage referring to Petru Maior(to whom Titu Maiorescuwasactuallyrelated!) and to history in general: “In 1812 Petru Maior wrote history his of the beginnings of the Romanians in Dacia (weshallpass overthecompilation of quotations made uncritically by Sincai).. for example. and thusthehistoricaldemonstration falsification of history. for that can be explained and sometimes justified by the circumstances of the times. therefore. “if its leadership is ever inspired by such principles. “Alas for our nation”. To prove an such unlikely hypothesis our mixingbetweenthe historian relies on a dubious passage in Eutropius and a passage in Julian. ” 3 ~ In the same year his article ‘‘Agamst the School o f Biirnuiiu” highlighted the ridiculousness of obsessively referring the present to the past. Junimea. consistently ridiculed the Latinist mania. 55 _/. I . the in extraordinary programmatic article publishedby Titu Maiorescu in 1868 under the title “Against Today’s DirectionRomanian in Culture”.. Latinism would have left the stage anyway. but the error in our judgement of them today. Junimea developedit and generalized it. .. to which he gives an interpretation which it is impossible for anyone in their right mind to ofour Romanitybeginswith a accept. In his 1843 Opening Word. the o f theRomanians those of-. A critical tradition was.. firmly and even aggressively expressed.”31 In various texts Maiorescu never tiredof q u s j n g himself and the reader with a whole collection of nationalist “gems”.. Even Hasdeu. MYTHOLOGY . had come in for harsh criticism. the blindness of failing to see that the building of Romanian nationality cannot be based on a foundation at the center of which lies ~ n t r u t h . .” The next comment concerns Maiorescu’s c.HISTORY.. exclaims Maiorescu.I what is surprising and saddening aboutthese products is not their error in itself. Birnufiu and his disciples were maintaining that Romanian laws and institutions should simply be those of Rome. Alecu Russo.

a means of defense agatnst many hardships in social and literary life. Garibaldi and Bismarck were aroused[.announcingtheunionofMoldaviaand Muntenia. this goes beyond a joke! We should at least be forgiven a smile! For one of the happiest resources of the human race. after us France itself will takea few steps forward in the directionof democracy.I. and The constitutions which have we produced intheselastyearsare also a foretaste of thenewspirit i n Europe. of his own mind. and with armed with some quick reading.. P. The young author had no special training in history. after us Spain will have its revolution.Indeed. Atthe cry oftheherald. Less noisy. In “Studies on the Political Dependence or Independence of the Romanians in Various Centuries”34. Urechia had proclaimed superiority the of Viiciirescu. the author of three‘historicalstudiespublishedin herare between 1872 and 1874. The French Revolution is only the continuation of the revolution of Horea. half of the body and half of the soul.32 Adzmana nationah (National Assembly). at the signal given our land: the on French Revolution and the national unifications of Italy atld of Germany. A. Here is what Maiorescu has to say: “Following on from these words.we designate as Homeric laughter. or have at least been born. with the sole difference that Horea’s had a national direction as wellas a social one. eventhefailingsand errorsofHorea’s revolution can be seenin the French one. which begins with a mere smile and ends in an explosion of delight.56 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS Romanian superiorities and priorities. All this. the page in Honorable Adtlnarea question advisesus:‘Let no one smile as theyreadthis. delighted the critic immensely.inrecognition of theliveliness of theancientgenius. Perhaps the most successhl page is that in which he ridiculestheparallelbetween Goethe and IeniichiiiiViiciirescu. a “gardener from Erfurt”. followspure a Maiorescian with line strict application to history. while the Romanian was a “sublime poet”. was the revolution of the Romanians in direction the of”1iberalism democracy. he manages to demolish almost the wholeof Romanian historiography and even to tarnish the hitherto almost intact prestige of the great B. Hasdeu. On the basis of this poem V. but with no less profound results. is precisely that movement. but. with the liveliness Junimist polemical verve.’ naponah.”33 Convohin’ George Panu.. Panu appreciably diminishes the originality and greatness of .with reference to the poem “In a Garden”. making Goethe “practical a German”. of course. The following lines from the periodical perfectlyillustratethe sortof discoursewhichMaiorescu confronted with an intransigent refusal: Two of the greatest events the history of Europe have received their in direction. After us Austria will return to parliamentarism. and which.

exaggerations. Panu reviewed Hasdeu’s CnXcaLHistoy oftbe Romanians in1873. Meanwhile. IDEOLOGY. The fact that the Romanians were trying to break away from the Slav mass and to turn towards the West did not mean that .Panu.seeingthroughtheastonishingplay of artificeto grasp the weakness of many of the author’s demonstrations. The fact that the Romanian national state-real or ideal-occupied a well-defined territory did not mean that this national configuration had to be projected back a millennium or a millennium and a half into the past. it was to be a few years before a true historical school emerged based on these principles. In Hasdeu’s vision. Bogdan. and they went so far as to apply this withinthefield of historicalstudies. integrating some of Roesler’s arguments theory his in own of << admigration”: it was basically a solution of compromise between two rival positions. and in customs. influences. A yearlater. He it was.HISTORY. MYTHOLOGY 57 the Romanian past. prefiguring. which can be identified on a massive scale in the Romanian language. sketched out an ample panorama of the distortions. Even the great heroes of the Romanians are characterized in a visiblyprovocativemanner. was contrary to the historical prejudices of the nineteenth century. the first great Romanian Slavicist. of course. it wasdue in particular to the contributions of Dimitrie Onciul and Joan Bogdan. in its extent. and Michael the Bravea “German general”! With the same lack of complexes. The Slav contribution is no longer seen as something additional but as an important constitutive element of the Romahian synthesis. starting from the situation of a history which is certainly not “imperial”. The tone of Junimist historical criticism was by Maiorescu. Thus Stephen the Great becomes a ‘’Polish vassal”. and especially Slav. He insists on foreign. in a spirit close to Panu’s suggestions.they sought to separate the contemporary political project from the realities of the Middle Ages. modern Romania. Their model was the Western one. but rather limited and dependent on the interests of the great powers.in1874. Quite simply. Onciul “complicated” the continuity thesis. in institutions. with borders extending over the mountains and into Moldavia as far as Baciiu and Birlad: the young Junimist demolished allthiswithcritical arguments. All this. arrived at the definition of important Slav components in medieval Romanip culture and even in the process of the formation of the Romanian peopleand language. In them we can see a hsion of the critical spirit with historiographical professionalism. Onciul and Bogdan were not opponents of Romanian national identity and unity. insisting on the far from merelyformalrelationship of vassalagewhich bound Moldavia to Poland and Wallachia to Hungary. painstakingly reconstituting a “real” model of the formation of Wallachia. when it did. who demolished the myth of Negru Vodi. and after him by set Panu. Panu also considerably limits the sphere of political action of the Romanians.inhis“Study of History among the Romanians”. However. too. fourteenthcentury Wallachia had become almost a “great power”. order to anddownright inventions of all sortswhichhadbeendevelopedin ensure for the Romanians a privileged position in the history and civilization of Europe. nor weretheyadvocates of theintegration of Romaniain the Slav space.

more than any other cultural . Any system of convictions. When Maiorescu speaks of “Oriental barbarism”. To succumb to the temptation of unanimity around certain n untouchable “truths” is cultural suicide. clearly bears the same mark of countermyth. “Oriental barbarism” was. The imaginary and ideology cannot be driven out of the historiographical project.58 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS the very real presence of the Slav factor throughout medieval Romanian history had to be minimized. It is also to its great credit that Junimea then represented the European moment. be taken the whole way. but the guiding lines of the discourse are still determined by the same mental mechanism. as valid in itself as any other. starting with Trajan and ending with Carol I. and however inaccessible the historical objectivity which they sought. Did the Junimist “new history” succeed in clearing mythology out of the discourse about the past? There is no doubt that such was its aim. in history as in other fields. A professional historiography is generally free of “elementary excesses”. however much it was willed and programmatically defmed. has to be subjected to questioning. but this does not mean that its logic does not continue to work upon “real facts”. The factual material in question becomes more secure. Nor could detachment from the present. Onciul gives a clear expression of his dynastic conception and of the supremacy which he attributes to political institutions by the way in which he organizes the whole of Romanian history around rulers. The great merit of Junimea does not lie i the “rightness” of the solutions proposed. but in the fact that it dared to put a question mark over many comfortable convictions of the Romanians. The amplification of Slav influence. contrasting with the dominant myth of the pure Latinity of the Romanians. of pure falsehoods and fables. which could go as far-in the interpretation. which is always debatable. a process which most historians are more inclined to see in terms of the ideology and political action of the liberals. Maiorescu’s remarkable Contemporary History OfRomania inevi tab1y offers a Junimist-conservative perspective on the building of modern Romania. of Alexandru Cihac-as the identification of the Romanian language as more Slav than Romance. In a generally mediocre synthesis of the history of the Romanians. but the result was not quite as intended. Here indeed is a question a y answer to which presupposes a sliding towards myth: Who made Romania? The liberals? The conservatives? Cuza? Carol I? Kogjlniceanu? Briitianu? The people? The European conjuncture? Or if we say l that it was al of these. The imaginary may be cleared of fiction. a system of civilization too. the critical intransigence of the movement infused Romanian culture with a spirit that every culture has an absolute need of. favored by Junimea. the countermyth appears no less flagrantly than the myth that he is setting out to deny-that of a brilliant Romanian history and civilization of quasi-Westem character. The demolition of one mythical configuration gives birth to “countermyths”. then in what order of importance? Whatever prejudices the Junimists may have transposed into their historical discourse. after all. evenindeed especially-if it is considered beyond attack.

who were. The problem is not.. and distinct destiny of the Romanians. After the turn the century. of those who live.37 Eminescu’s ideas were not totally new. A few decades earlier. be However. he considered that the coming ofa foreign prince was a danger to Romaniannationalityitself. however. Romanian nationalism came of toinsist moreand more forcefully on the individuality. important figuresin Romanian culture were already expressing a distrust of Western civilization and a fear of invasion by foreign values. Nationalism with a European finality gave way to autochthonist nationalism. and often overt.”35 Indeed. but that the German prince might become too Romanian. These two divergent faces of the national ideology had also co-existed during the nineteenth century. one of an illusory absolute rightness. It is the reaction of the national spirit. Only in way this could modern Romania built. HISTORY. by exploiting the labor of the peasants. and the layer of foreign origin. c) Romanians educated abroad.”36) Hasdeu also took a stand agatnst cosmopolitanism. . what set them in relief was the systematic spirit and the vehemence of his language. ultimately. THE AUTOCHTHONIST REACTION A new direction emerges immediatelyafter 1900. 59 direction.(“Heto whom foreignersaredear / Let thedogseathis heart [. The clichi even appears unexpected but justified to the extent that it serves the critique of the forms without substance of * The quotation is from Eminescu’s poem “Doina”. were He dreamed of a pure Romanian civilization. seeing the urban environment as an imported structure. Simion B h u ~ i u not hesitate to identify the did enemies of Romanian nationality. b) theegotisticandmaterialisticcivilization of Europe.I. No one. untouched by foreign influences and still lessby the effective presence of foreigners. but the aspiration towards modernization and Westernization had been more powerful than the resistance to this process. Eminescu expressed reserve. The new nationalist orientation presents itself in a quite different way from the nationalist manifestations of the nineteenth century to which I have so far been referring. the great national poet but alsothegreatnationalist columnist and prophet..MYTHOLOGY IDEOLOGY. hostility.”*) His theory of “superposed layers” distinguishes between authentic. at the very least.(Itisworth quoting hereMaiorescu’s reply: “Our only fear today is not that wewill ever become German. which is impossible. specific culture. where Western values concerned. but of the synchronizing of Romanian culture withEuropean evolutions. in his view “a) the foreigners in our midst. They had aspired to align the old civilization and history of the Romanians to Western values. precisely so as to justify and hasten the European integration of Romania. Bilcescu had sketched out the village/town opposition. would express state this of mind better than Mihai Eminescu. whichis essentially circumscribed by a rural setting. ultimately. pure an Romanian class. Trm~.

” How. becoming directed against the abuse of foreign influence and the cultural alienation of the elite. first by French architects and later by their Rommian pupils. and theparallel current of poporanism. as a sign of protest at the staging of plays in French.60 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS .the starting point of the events mentioned above. in terms of the rural store of values. Iorga was indeedthehero of the momentand the‘‘instigator’’ of the disturbance.had“thrownitself into thearms of foreign culture”.illustratethis shift towardsruralvalues opposed toWesternurbancivilization.39 Whatwas needed. The signs of the new tendency arenumerous anddiverse. In 1903 the journal Sdmdndtord m e sower) appeared. The “ ~ e t ~ ~ d ~ ~ d t ~ r i current that surrounded it. There was a line beyond which things could not go. In Iorga’s opinion the Romanian elitehadbecomede-nationalized. How could the great victories of Stephen the Great be explained? By the fact that “in the sword of the voivode lay the feeling of security that started from the true unity of the whole people. Those who made up that people were not isolated in hosde classes. public buildings in Bucharest had generally been designed in the Parisian style of the time. in fact. towards us” and towards the realcountry. a hundredfold. in Titu Maiorescu’s writing: “The only real class in our country is that of the Romanian peasant. or even exclusively. with the emergence of the neo-Romanian architecture promoted by Ion Mincu and his school. could the failure of Michael the Brave be explained? By “the disappearance of social solidarity. was a radical change of direction. From this beginning the “struggle for the Romanian language’”as Nicolae Iorga termed it-acquired a more general orientation. The Romanians .thegreathistorianraisedthequestion of nationalsolidarity. under which he sighs as a result of the phantasmagorias of the higher classes. a change of style is evident. which was seen mainly. and his reality is suffering. A veritable street battle broke out in the square by the National Theatre. the elite. therefore. and by “the chasm which opens up between those who take a certain foreign culture for themselves and those who are forbidden any right to culture”. since an enemy class had not been formed by another cultural ideal and speaking another language. He foresees an exit from the phase of the ‘(negative criticism” of national values and the pickingup of the thread of the old traditions once again. manifesting “a sentimentof contempt multiplied tenfold. only natural that once the essential elements of the Western model had been adopted the autochthonist spirit would demonstrate its resistance and vigor. which he sees as leading to the alienation of the Romanian soul from its past. After 1900. A symbolic event took place on 13 March 1906. In hislecture on 13 March1906. This sort of social and cultural division was continuing to deepen. In his Romanian Czlltzlre and Pobhianism (1904). on the other hand. the disappearance of the unity of consciousness of the Romanian people”. In the last decades of the nineteenth century. Constantin Riidulescu-Motru denounces the phenomenon of cultural mimicry. a thousandfold. It was. the former patriarchal and the latter moresocial.”38 After 1900 all these rather disparate manifestations came together in an expanding ideological constellation centered on the affirmation of the specificity of Romanian civilization.



could not become French or German. National specificity had to be preserved, respected, and integrated harmoniously with the European model. This was the direction in which social and cultural evolution was leading. The revolution of the nineteenth century had been the work of a restricted elite, strongly marked by Western values. In each generation, however, the ranks of those who were beginning to have access to culture and to a say in social life were growing. The new movement was fed by layers closer to the base of society. The middle class in particular, which had been almost nonexistent when the process of modernization first got under way, had gradually grown and become consolidated. It was inevitable that autochthonous values would acquire a heightened force. After the First World War the rhythm of these changes intensified. Universal suffrage and the agrarian reform of 1921, which meant the almost complete dismemberment of large properties, brought about a radical change in the rules of the social and political game. Meanwhile, there had been a considerable growth in literacy and in the extent of involvement in the cultural process. Western influence continued to be active, but its impact on a much expanded public opinion could not match its seductive appeal to the restricted elite of former times. In the political sphere, nationalist discourse became much more profitable than the invocation of foreign models. Politics had entered the phase of the ‘Lmassesy’. A century before, Tocqueville had warned against the possible turning of democracy into authoritarianism. This is exactly what happened in the interwar period. Almost everywhere in Europe the “democratic” manipulation of the masses was to ensure the triumph of totalitarian and nationalist solutions (generally in combination: totalitarianism and nationalism fed on the same ideal of unity). The Romanian excesses in this direction were in conformity with European evolutions. The vitality of the nationalist sensibility closely reflected the dynamic of Romanian history itself in the first half of the century. It was stimulated initially by the movement for the liberation of the Romanians who were under foreign rule, and the creation of Greater Romania. However, the attainment of this ideal in 1918 did not exhaust the resources of nationalism. The construction of a national state of all Romanians fed the feeling of identity and of a specific destiny, which was also sustained by the fear of possible attack and of the dangers which threatened the national construction (fears which proved well founded in 1940, when the country was partially dismembered). In addition, there was the minority phenomenon, appreciably amplified by the inclusion, within the enlarged borders of the Romanian state, of a considerable number of people belonging to various ethnic minorities. The more or less conflictud relations of the Romanians with these ccothers’y (Hungarians, Germans, Jews, Ukrainians, etc.) helped to maintain a marked sense of Romanian specificity, which could, in its extreme manifestations, go as far as the utopian ideal of a purified national organism, homogeneous from an ethnic, cultural, and religious point of view. Such an ideal formula is to be found in the Orthodoxist ideology that developed between the two world wars as a major component of Romanian nationalism. Nichifor Crainic and Nae Ionescu-to mention two influential



‘leaders of consciousness” of the time-superposed Orthodoxism and Romanianism; the Legionary movement took this amalgam. up This transfer from the religious to the ideological and political deserves a more detailed commentary. Wemay note, firstly, that the identification of Romanian culture with Orthodox spirituality marpalizes in a quiteunjustified way the Greek Catholic (uniate) Church, to which about half Romanians the of Transylvania belonged; paradox the is all the more striking as Romanian nationalism had origins the its in activity of the Transylvanian School, an ideological and cultural current whichwas almost entirely Uniate. Thus, a p n s t the evidence of history, a view of Greek Catholicism as “other” took shape. The forced abolition of the Uniate Church in 1948, by communist decree, only carried to a logical conclusion the identification of the national concept with a restrictive religious concept. A second, and even more serious, paradox concerns the apparent limitation of Orthodoxy to the Romanian space. Orthodox Christianity is characteristic of the whole eastern part of Europe, from Greece to Russia. It is not national, but transnational, like any other religion. Moreover, for two centuries the Orthodox idea was the principal propaganda argument of Russiainitspolicy of expansion towards Constantinople and, of course, over the Romanian space,. The fact that a majority of Romanians are Orthodox is beyond any doubt, and nothing is more naturalthan that theyshouldfeelattached to theirreligion. However, the problem is not one of religion but of the distortion of the meaning of religion by its transfer into ideology. The ideological compartmentalizing of Orthodoxism means a clear delimitation from the Catholic and Protestant West, but since“splendidisolation” is not an option, theinevitable consequence is integration, or reintegration, into the Slav and Orthodox East. This is the situation that the nationalists of the nineteenth century had tried to get beyond, not by grving up their ancestral faith but by adopting the cultural atld political models of the non-Orthodox West. The nationalists of the interwar period were, of course, sincere their in approach. They wanted an independent Romania, built on indigenous values.But what weretheseindigenousvalues?Couldthey offer a complete and viable political model? Would peasant tradition and religious morality have been enough? Theproject was vague and utopian..Its only practical outcome would, I repeat, have been a breaking away from the Western model and a “return” to an Eastern space dominatedby a single great power-Russia. be to the exclusive The interwar atmosphere cannot, of course, reduced attraction of autochthonism. From the “European idea”, itself compatible with moderate versions of Romanian nationalism, to nationalist exclusivity, the ideological pictureof the period is far from uniform. A perfect antithesis to culturalisolationism was offered by E. Lovinescu’s History of Modem Romanian CiuiXxafion (1924-1925), a demonstration that the institutions and cultural forms of contemporary Romania were purely Western in origm and adopted by a simple process of imitation. Lovinescu goes further than Maiorescu, justifying the ‘cforms without substance” that the great Junimist had



condemned, by seeing in them a natural stage in the process of Westernization, a necessary pattern for the later coalescence of the modem substance of civilization. He was vehemently opposed to the “peasantism” of the time, agatnst which he upheld the urban values that alone could promote modern civilization. Likewise, although coming froma different direction, Stefan Zeletin argued in Romanian The Bonqeoisie: Its On’gin alzd Histon>aZRob (1925) for the inevitability of a Western type of capitalism and the forms of civilization that this brings with it. Thus the picture appears to be complex, with room for all shades of opinion. However, it is no less true that the national-autochthonist idea continued to affirm itself strongly and the theme of the “Romanian specific” was invoked ever more insistently, with notable extensions into the ideology and political life of the time (for example, the project of a peasant state with an economy based on small rural properties, promoted by the peasantist ideologrsts Vir@ Madgearu and Ion Mihalache). On the eve of the Second World War, traditional rural civilization was the object of a veryspecialinterest.Thiswasthetimewhen Dimitrie Gusti’s sociological teams were at work, with pioneering results in rural sociologybut also with implications on the cultural and national level. The Village Museum, opened in 1935, remains a symbol of this attempt to reintegratethevillage and rural traditions into modern Romanian civilization. It was a perfectly htile project; not because it might not, theoretically, have borne fruit, but because, to put it simply and crudely, communism endedit all, striking without discernment at all that represented authentic peasant culture in the Romanian space.

It remains for us to trace connections the between historiography and this flourishing nationalist and autochthonoussensibility. After 1900, Romanian historians generally followed the pathway opened up by the “critical school”. The methodological norms of a professional historiography were now well defrned and historical research fitted within the European model of the time. But historiographical discourse does not depend only, or even primarily, on method. method A does not in produce itself obligatory answers and interpretations. Very different methods can lead to similar solutions (the rigorous Onciul and the extravagant Hasdeu than more once arrived at similar conclusions), while by using the sameset of methodological norms it is pbssible to reach the most diverse interpretations. Amethod can help towardsamore adequate defrnition of problemsandevents, but thelogic of history and its meaning-which are ultimately all that really matter-depend more on the historian and less on the method. In Romanian historiography, the introduction of critical method is, in the first place, the work of Junimea. Succeeding generations inherited the methodological norms but not necessarily spirit the of Junimist interpretation. The fbll



momentum of the negative criticism of Maiorescu andPanu could not be maintained beyond 1900, while even the critical approach initiated by Onciul and Bogdan was to undergo more or less significant modifications. Junimea remains, in the end, an almost unique phenomenon: the most accentuated phase of demythologizing-even ifsome of itsemphaseswere, of course, incorrect or debatable-thatRomanianhistoriographyhaseverknown. On the other hand, the romantic nationalism of the nineteenth century, free of criticism and control, was no longer current in the interwar period. Nationalism was now expressed in more reasonableand subtle historiographicalforms,andwithvaryingintensity from one historian to another and from one phase to another. In any case, the relation of history to politics remained close. The historian continued to be perceived as a spiritual guide, who, from the experience of the past, had a clearer understanding of the imperatives of the present. Iorga caught this idea in a memorable characterization. “The historian”,he said in his reception speech to the Romanian Academy in 1911,“is an old man with the experience of his nation.” It is his duty to be “a tireless recallerof national tradition, a witness to the unity of the folk over and above political and class barriers, a preacher of racial solidarity and discoverer of idealstowardswhichhehimself should advance, giving an example to the youth who come after U S . ~ ~ ~We are, it is easy to see, far O from the cold Junimist approach. We still find here the typology, which is not only Romanian but Central and Eastern European, of the historian as political figure and history understood as a d e i h e argument in the defense of political rights and the achievement of national aspirations. Even in the interwar period, when history and politics became clearlyseparate professions, the list of historians who were political figures,or who were attracted at some time or other to enter politics, is impressive:Iorga, above all, who crowned an important career in national politics by heading the government in 1931-32; Alexandru Lapedatu, Ioan Lupq and Silviu Dragomir, leading exponents of the Clujhistoricalschoolandministersinvariouscabinets; Ioan Nistor, professor at the University of CerniiuG, historian of Bukovina and Bessarabia,with a long ministerialcareerinLiberal governments; and, in the younger generation, G. I. Britianu, party leader, C. C. Giurescu, ministerand royal resident during the dictatorship of Carol 11, and P. P. Panaitescu, whose career alongside the Legionaries came to an abrupt end with their removal from power in January 1941. Theproblem, however, is a more subtle one. How far the are national ideology,theconvictions,andthepoliticalaction of each of these historians reflected in their historiographicalapproach? With Iorga, the accent falls strongly on the unity of Romanian civilization, the aim of the historian being to present “the nation itself as a living being” and to follow its “inner movement’’.4* The idea of a distinct evolution in relation to the surrounding peoples wasgiven a concreteform inhistheory of the “popular



Romanias”*, signifyingthe autonomous organization of the indigenous Romanian population in the face of the barbarian invaders of the first medieval centuries. SemZn&on‘st ideology, and a general predilection for national unity over and above class differences, led Iorga-in accordance, in with fact, the older thesis, promoted by Biilcescu, of a free rural society-towards a patriarchal vision of the early and central periods of the Middle Ages; these were “times of a harmonious common life, in which the classes did not regard each other with enmity, in which the country was strong through its unity, from the lowest peasant to the highest, the crowned lord of the peasants”.42 Iorga’s “peasant state” suffered a merciless blow when the tomb of Radu I was discovered in the Princely Church at Curtea de Argeg in 1920. The treasure that was brought to light and the refinement of the adornments did not seem characteristic of a peasant, even a crowned one. The historian was forced to modi5 his theory, proving yetagain the dangers of projecting present utopias into the past. On the other hand, Iorga underlined role the of the Romanians in the southeast of Europe as the inheritors of “Eastern Romanity” and of the historical and political tradition of Byzantium (the latter idea being reflected in his Byxance a 6 Byxame, 1935).The civilization specific to the Romanians thus combines with p. r their European mission. Although a nationalist autochthonist, Iorga was in no and way an isolationist. He was a European in his own way, but for him Europe meant attitude to a combination of nations,each of whichhaditsownspirit.His ‘cothers’’ across comes as nuancedvariable. and His pointing out of interdependencies and reciprocal influences is a counterbalance to his attraction towards cultural autochthonism. It was the nationalist Iorga who rehabilitated the Phanariots in Romanian historiography. was Iorga complex a and often contradictory historian, who offered each reader what they wanted to take from him. In a simplified version, his nationalism and “peasantism” could become a source for theLegionaries,justlikeEminescu’snationalism. It is, of course, necessarytomakeadistinctionbetweentheintellectual approach of the great historian and theprimitivism of autochthonist and xenophobic outbursts. But Iorga remained overall a right-wing nationalist, whose social and political ideas (unity and national specificity, social solidarity, monarchical regime,and European mission) can be traced in his historical discourse. An interesting case for our demonstration is that of Vasile Pirvan. Unlike Iorga, the great archaeologist and historian of antiquity was not a national prophet. He was never tempted, like other historians, by the world of politics. His attitude during the First World War could be considered equivocal, or at any rate lacking in commitment. It is certainly hard to count his name among the great fighters for the unity of the Romanians. Pirvan is considered the founder of the i the n modern Romanianschool of archaeology,arigorousresearcher,trained
~ ~~~~~ ~


Romunii p @ u k m the difference between Iorga’s term Romania (a space of continuing n Romanity) and Rominiu (Romania i the modern national sense) is quite clear in Romanian, but impossible toconvey in English. Trans.

but behind him and in the shadow of his glory stand the boyars. stable. Giurescu’s Hif~op ofthe R0maman. subject. who gave political directives and made decisions with or without the will of their master.The attack w s unleashed by C.Getica (1926). Panaitescu’s interpretation meant bringing the hero down from his pedestal. and yethappyand good-humored in peacetime. who were scarcely thirty years old. called for a return to the methodology.I Michael’s lordship meant the triumph of the boyars over the other classes. and rendered savage themselves much of the timeby the wickedness of these others. cultural. brings together a multitude of archaeological and literary sources and passes them through the filter of a minute exegesis. . in perfect keeping with thetone of the national-autochthonist and even Orthodoxist ideology of thetime:“TheGeto-Dacianswere a peopk of peasants. but usuallyruledby good sense. a C. From Iorga’s point of view. Panaitescu’s monograph Michael the ? Brave (in 1936). “detached” from politics ’and passions. Panaitescu (1900-1967) and Constantin C. and always turning back to their ancient optimistic faith in gods and men. Giurescu (1901-1977).66 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS spirit of the German school. settled. as truths’gained for scholarship. The young historians. and fearful towards their god. I. the results of researchshouldbe presented as hypotheses or szp~osi~ons. His great work. “Michael the Brave”.r (in 1935) and of I?. on a document which is beyond discussion. of the great Junimists Dimitrie Onciul and Ioan Bogdan. The question of politics and nationalism in history was vigorously and even passionately debated the in context of the offensive launched by the “New School” of history. a p n s t the“Old School”.evida iston>Z.”45 Panaitescu even dared to claim that Michael was not the son of Pitragcu the Good. I. The quarrel over Michael the Brave is significant in defining two distinct historical sensibilities. Britianu (1898-1953). And when documents are not avadable or are not conclusive..”44 not There followed harsh reviews by Iorga of the first volume of C. Discovering numerous errors and risky affirmations. claimed Panaitescu. gathered from 1931 around the journal Revista iston2 romdn2 (Romanian Historical Review). and foremost among them G. Giurescu in an extensive review-published in 1931-32 under the title “A New Synthesis of Our Past””of Iorga’sbook The History nf theRomaniansandtheir CiziLi~ation. a trans-historical that for civilization whose religious. the victorious and glorious captain.”43 I shall return later to this characterization. C. harassed by their neighbors in endless wars and raids. . Petre P. Dacia Romania up and make a whole. And yet here is the conclusion that he formulates at the end of his research. which was reduced basically to Nicolae Iorga and his R. “was the arm that struck. [. the young historian presumed to give the master a lesson in ehmentary methodology: “Any affirmation in a historical study mustbebased on conclusiveevidence. furious and cruel only in war. The accent was shifted from the hero to the dominant social class of the time: the boyars.. For the moment let us only note Pirvan.and their socialandeconomicstrengthening. which for the dynastically minded Iorga amounted to an act of h e mjesti. and moral features are those of the idealized autochthonous peasant synthesis.

The programmatic article of Revista iston2 mm&na‘stated the young historians’ position plainly:“Historyshould not beshifted onto thelevel of political and social struggles. the political finality of the historical discourse. the wellspring of power. C. fluid that is ultimately under discussion.47 But Iorga. Their only preoccupation. but taken up with pride. N. Iorga calledtheyoungmen a “school of negation” and a “rationalist generation”. His tone is intended to be precise and neutral. It ought to illuminate these. the truth can never harm. according to the “observation point” of each historian. only with the result. as from the individual point of view.”46 The Junimist mirage of theobjectivity of history and its loosening from political-national issues was taking new shape. Paradoxically. this fearless fighter for the Faith and eternal founder of the country of today. ever more alive and luminous is the memory of his action. the most virulent critic of Iorga. to bring the national ideal into existence. C. triumph. too. was seekingthe truth. not to be in their service. In C. Giurescu. than Iorga. C. but an emotional wave runs through it from time to time. as in the memorable and powerfully actualized evocation of Michael the Brave: “Ever more strongly shines the face of Michael the Brave. the more we know of the struggle. MYTHOLOGY 67 From methodology there an is inevitable towards slide ideology. The messianicnationalism of thosewhohad fought by means of history too. becoming h l l y part of it). The comparison of the “New School” to Junimea is not only accepted. The willed and sometimes even forced detachment of the Junimists from current national mythology did not recover all of its former vigor through the ‘<New School”. the great historian is accused of making research into the past an instrument. it is true. seemed outdated now that Greater Romania had become a reality. Alongside Stephen the Great.From the national. but the differentiated reception of truth. Michael the Brave is the embodiment of heroism. on the contrary. Allhistorians-at least all historians worthy of the name-have been seeking the truth since history began. Only a perfectly objective attitude can guarantee incontestable scholarly results. IDEOLOGY. the more admiration grows in our souls. the differences seem to me to be more of tone than of message. less “militantly nationalist”. For the ‘OB SchooP of Hsoy A n Anmer to Mr. was the closest to him in the profoundly national sense of hishistorical discourse. However. And the evolution of historical studies called anyway for more reserved attitude.HISTORY. Iorga is not preoccupied with the truth. it is always of real use. of . The documentary more information is added. a very concept. Between patriotismand objectivity there isno antinomy. who were setting themselves against “the national interest”. is “with the tmw. more a professional and less emotional. He saw in them the continuation of Junimea. In a series of articles published in a 1936. The new generation was in a sense less nationalist. Giurescu’s reply. itr: Ioo’ga (1937. passing over the fact that he himself had gone alongside this current for a time (without. According to Giurescu. Giurescu affirms yet again. a weapon of war. It is not “truth”. and fall of this great captain. indeed largely by means of history.

certainly not in this passage.. “he infusion of patriotism is unmistakable and is hrther amplified by the moment of publication. that. C. were Christianized long after us. The Hstoty oftbe Romanians. Giurescu during the period of royal dictatorship can be seen to be closely bound to this principle. For Giurescu.here is what the same historian wrote in 1943: [. and finally. Herodotus. it is true. and of pride for theRomanian people. G. does not hesitatetoplacehistoryindirectrelation to the political conjuncture.] we one are of tbe okest peoples of Ez~opeandtheoMest in the Etlmpean sotltbemt.healso saw how tolook after Romanianinterests through history. which is strongly emphasizedin his historical work. nor that they were the last to be foundedin this part of Europe (Hungary. Briitianu. We are. the purpose of history was to confirm the “sentiment of nationalpride and absoltltefalb in the hture of ourpeople and ourstate”... as Romania passed through critical moments. his great work of synthesis. the Second World War. finally.. who is in many ways the closest to Iorga among the group of young historians.. tends to highlight the idea of political solidarity and of the respect due to the state and its leader as the exponent of national interests. that the continuity of the Romanian states does not change the fact that they were in a subordinate position. All our neighbors.. absolutely all. He produced a firm rebuttal of immigrationist theories. [. anyway. whileall our neighbors came later into the lands which they now occupy. the inheritor of the Briitianutradition. denouncing the .I people of anti pi^. and even Bulgaria were “great powers” in the region at a time when the Romanian principalities did not yet exist).68 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS belief.49 It might be pointed out that the Greeks are actually older than the Romanians.aswerethe heroism and contempt for death shown by the Dacians. Poland. The Daban rehgion was always a source of admirationforwritersoftheGreco-Romanworld. in the crisis years of the Second World War. from the founding of the state to the present day. that nowadays (though not. mentioned with praise right from the beginning by the “father of history”. I. in 1943) the concept of an“elite people” has an uncomfortable sound. that information evaluations the and provided by ancient authors who knewlittle about theDacianspacehavethemselves an inclination towards myth and should be judged in relation not to our patriotism but to their ideology. too. the only people in this part of Europethathasmanagedtohave a pokticaal @e withotlt intemption. and during.”48 The call for “detachment” addressed to Iorga does not seem to be followed by Giurescu.I “We arefrombere”. given the paucity of sources. Then m are the obest Christianpeoplein the Etlmpean soatheart. The political career of C. The Dacians or Getae were ah0 an ekte [. As for the more generalsignificance of Romanianhistory. The national sense of his historical discourse became accentuated on the eve of. As both a historian and a politician. the Dacian religion and the Christianization of the Daco-Romans remain matters on which no definitive answers are possible.

1937. going so far as to consider the indigenous boyar class to be of Slav origin. Panaitescu was closer to the Junimist sense of criticism and reconstruction. of aninshzct of unity. the Dacianrace. Here is a representative passage: ‘We are Dacians! In our physical being. coupled with the greater advantages. like the Voivode Michael. He was. The Legionary movement. in the being of our souls. is anything but nationalist. presupposing the existence. even before national consciousness took shape. Beyond doubt.Lepea.” And here is another. and the mysteries of the human soul. which gave a privileged role to material. in which he challenges the heroic edifice of medieval Romanian history. Panaitescu gives the Slavs an important place in medieval Romanian history.I.P. which has awakened the deepest echoes of ournational being.50 And yet this historian. taking a reserved attitude towards the idea of a continuity over the whole Romanian territory. for whom the bells of the monastery on Tirgovigte Hill weep. . On the issue of continuity he adopts the thesis of Onciul. social. His conception and method. a racewhich is perpetuated inus.. has also raised Dacian blood’ to a place ofhonor [.overwhomtheykeepwatchfrom another . Panaitescu’s Legionary episode shows us the “virtues” of doubletalk in all their splendor. which highlights the same type of historical continuity as a justification of the Legionary phenomenon: “Like Stephen of Moldavia. the only member of the “New School” who systematically placed a question mark over major elements of Romanian historical mythology.HISTORY. of indirect exploitation rather than effective annexation. Regardless of the personal calculations that can be suspected. and cultural structures. It was not the struggles of the Romanians with the Turks-a dominant themein national historiography-whichsaved the existence of the principalities. abounds in historical-mythological constructions in the most autochthonist spirit imaginable. IDEOLOGY. Like Ioan Bogdan before him. in fact. anti-Romanian aims of “neighboring” historians (Une higme et tilt mirach bixton$Re.?h mnmain. The demythologizing of Michael the Brave fitted naturally into this project. as a response to the breaking up of Greater Romania. and in 1943. P. I We are not only the sons of the earth. the extreme expression of Romanian nationalism and autochthonism. we have always been here. MYTHOLOGY 6?.. for the Ottoman Empire. <Whydid the Turks not Conquer the Romanian Lands?” is an article published in 1944. for whom the great oak tree still grows in the Apuseni mountains. We have no begmning. they [the Legionary heroes] are the great protectors of thewholefolk. he published Ongines etjmation de I’zlnite‘ mzrmaine. whose name is awakened by the great horn sounding on the hills of the Siret. in which he presented the road of the Romanians towards unity. [. we form part of a great race. whose discourse..but their position away from the centralline of Turkish advance into Europe. we feel ourselves to be the descendants of that great and ancient people who were settled in the Carpathian mountains centuries before Trajan. The newspaper Czmhtzd w e Word). in specialist works and even in school textbooks. attached himself for a time to the Legionary movement. which was under the direction of the short-time rector of the University of Bucharest in the autumn of 1940 and early 1941. like Horea. were essentially opposed to a heroic and personalized history.

The Communist Party. The mechanisms of Romanian society were smashed to pieces replaced and by completely new structures and mechanisms.andmental restructuring imposed by communism appears all the more radical. The changewasall the more brutal as the revolutionary Marxist Left had occupied quite peripheral area a of the Romanian ideological spectrum. up whichto 1944 had considered been the fundamental class of Romanian society and the depositary of the national spirit and traditions. Panaitescu. For a time. The center .”51 The author of these emotional evocations is P. and often it cannot escape the moreconcrete and more direct demands of the political moment either. expressing the ideal of a society of small producers.thematerial.70 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS world. was dismembered by collectivization. which Romania adopted in an even more servile and complete way than other countries of CentralandSoutheast Europe. COMMUNIST DISCOURSE: ANTI-NATIONAL PHASE THE As it was constructed in thecourse of thenineteenthcentury and in the first decades after 1900. The political sensibility of the Romanians was more inclined the to Right. communism put a stop to these prolonged debates with a decision apparently beyond appeal: neither the West nor tradition. between these two cultural sources: indigenous tradition and Western values. P.social. ended up blending into the new social mixture and or disappearing. otherwise the great demolisher ofmyths-when he was not writing for Ctluinttll! I can only repeat what every page of this book illustrates: Nstory can keep itself free of a particular ideology but it cannot keep itself free from ideologies in general. The controversy which is so characteristic of Romanian society in the first half of the twentieth century was about what exactly the appropriate balance was. not the mythology of a post-capitalist future forged by the working class. Romanian historical ideology was organized around national values and the relations between national culture and the (West) European model. resigned themselves to exile. the peasantist ideology) breathed a pre-capitalist rural air. had generally been perceived by public opinion in the interwar period as hostile to national interests. in the modern synthesis of civilization. which was largely made up of non-Romanian ethnic elements and acted on the orders of Moscow. Massive industrialization fdled the urban space with an uprooted and easily maneuvered mass. Even the Social Democratic Party had played little more than a symbolic role in the political life of the country. The peasantry. some even “leftist” tendencies (Poporanism. In thiscontext. even the majority of the Left were guided by ideas that may be considered somewhat or at least to correspond to a certain traditionalism with rootsin “peasant democracy”. In other words. The model now invoked and appliedwas a completely new one: that of Soviet communism. The elite pulverized its was and members perished in prison.

52 The guiding thread had been the national idea. thrown out of their posts. in fact. when it was still called The Hi. an anonymous set of initials after the model of the Soviet republics. formed the new elite of the country. were to die in prison.R. published in numerous editions under the direction of M. which. the flagrantly mediocre works of Petre Constantinescu-Iagi. with the centrality that he accords to economic and social structures. The thread of tradition was broken. The History Ofthe RP. the “new” Marxist. Those that are most worth mentioning are Constantin Dobrogeanu-Gherea’s Neo-sefdom (1910). Briitianu.HISTORY. were in a sense closer to a Marxist spirit than the undistinguished writings of the declared Marxists. Any reference to the national significance of the history of the previous century was done away with or turned upside down. it could be said that the interpretations of the “Legionary” P. Tram. . history took over the whole field. The workers became the most representative class. Their places were frequently taken by improvised “historians”.rtoy OfRomania. P. a new culture. for example. to 1956-illustrates in its very title the direction of this new reconstruction of the past. like G. Some professional historians aligned themselves with the new imperatives. as professor in the Faculty of Theology in Chiginiiu). MYTHOLOGY 71 was shifted effectively.R. Roller-from 1947. Panaitescu. A new history began. and the similarly modest contributions of Lucre~u Patrapmu. which meant. Romania had become the “R. and not the broad masses of the -~ * Repubha Populbra’ &mind (Romanian People’s Republic). had to be born-a Romanian version of Soviet culture. After the short transition of the years 1944 to 1947. There was no Marxist tradition in Romanian historiography. those who benefited from it were bourgeois elements and the commercial boyars. Without intending to be paradoxical. by a process of “spontaneous generation”. The earthquake in historiography was no less powerful than that which shook all the structures of society. were reduced to silence. but above all symbolically. In the space of only a few years the reference points of Romanian history were turned upside down. or basically Stalinist. from the village to the town. is the interpretation of the union of 1859: “The ruling classes managed to ensure that the union would be carried out primarily from above by an understanding between the bourgeoisie and the boyars. among whom should be mentioned the conductor of the new historiography and little dtctator of the history of the late 1940s and early 1950s. with a few exceptions. some. I. too. the so-called leading class-in fact the ideological alibi of the Party aristocracy. The few contributions which can be considered Marxist were occasional and insignificant. and in many cases imprisoned. What emerged in its place was the internationalist spirit.P.”*. but the great university professors. an attempt to wipe out all that was nationally Romanian. Here. which still allowed some manifestations of the “old” historiography. Mihail Roller. the only Marxist historian in a university post @ut completely marginal in the field. IDEOLOGY. not only different but totally opposed to the old.

who wereguilty. particularly the Orthodox clergy. and so with the West. was taken by its contrary. whether in the case of peasant rebellions in the Middle Ages or of more recent workers’ movements. cutting spiritual connections with the West whileoffering a present.72 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS people.ingeneral. In promoting atheism in a brutal form. and theheroes of thesereplaced or devaluedthe great traditional figures. The result is a powerful anchoring intheSlavworld. with the occupation of the province in question.54 Far from being a natural result of history and an incontestable right of the Romanianpeople. not a national act. too.Fromantiquitytothe overturning of the “bourgeois-landlord” regime.anddeals. History took its shape around the great “classbattles”. could not be tolerated. on the other hand. it was an act of class politics. especiallyintheMiddleAges but alsointhe modem period. claJ-s f~mgh. as for Transylvania and the symbolic date 1 December 1918. The role of the church in national historywas also diminishedand distorted. history is punctuated by social conflicts of all kinds. Period after period in “Roller history” marked was by connections between Romanians and Slavs. The union of Bessarabia with Romania appears under the “Imperialist title Intervention against the Socialist Revolution inRussia”.”53 In other words. again closer to the pure Soviet model than the relative compromise that was attempted in Central Europe. for example). Its relations with Rome. although this did not prevent certain maneuvers to attract the clergy. of belonging to the “exploiting classes”. which was no less Romanian than the Orthodox.nationalunity is inscribed within an expansion of imperialist type. was dissolved in 1948 and its bishops and priests imprisoned. no occasion is missed to strike at all that is meant by the West and Western values.thepoliticalsignificance of which is too evident to need comment. theyaretaken out of context and amplified. the communist regime in Romania proceeded to secularize official history with a flagrant disregard for the real importance of religion and the church in the history of the Romanians. At the same time. Militant atheism remained to the end a characteristic markof Romanian communism.more often. wefindthemin a subchapter called “Intervention againsttheRevolutionin Hungary”. . of course. A major branch of pre-communist historiography was concerned with relations beheen the Romanians and the West. The regime succeeded in striking a double blow. motor force of historicalevolution. The place of national solidarity. All the same. the 1859 moment enjoyed a certain weighting in the economy of the book. The reader willbe unable. from the cohabitation of the two ethnic groups and cultures in the first centuries of the Middle Ages down to the “liberation of Romania by the glorious Soviet army” on 23 August 1944. In some cases these are quite simply invented (the rebellions and other protest movements inRomanDacia. to find a chapter or subchapter referring to the creation of Greater Romania in 1918. Here. The Uniate Church. so much invoked in pre-communist which was considered the historiography. the shift was radical: the “Latin island in a Slav sea” was obliged to go back to where it came from.



albeit not without strings attached, to the Orthodox Church. It is in this context, in the years 1950 to 1955, that the first Romanian saints were canonized. There was a certain small satisfaction in this for the Orthodox Church, which, however, adopted in its turn new criteria in assessing the merits of the persons sanctified. Stephen the Great’s time had not yet come. The new saints combined religious merits well-defined with sociopolitical orientations. Among them were Sava Brancovici, the metropolitan of Transylvania, appreciated for his relations with Russia, and the monkSofronie of Cioara, who led an anti-Uniate movement around 1760.55 All this, however, went on an undertone, never transgressing the in limits of what was strictly ecclesiastical or affecting the promotion of atheism, through history as by other means.


Towards the end of the 1950s the national factors in Romanian history gradually returned to center stage, and the process was accentuated in the first part of the following decade in parallel with a diminishing of the Slav, Russian, and Soviet element. It was a slow but steadyevolution,culminating inApril1964in the famous Declaration of the “independence” of the Romanian Workers’ Party. Romanian communism had abandoned “internationalism”, which wasin fact a disguise for anti-nationalism, and had opted for nationalism. It was, at least as far as discourse was concerned, a 180-degree turn. All sorts of interpretationshavebeenproposed to explainthisremarkable shift. It must be said at the start that the phenomenon is not essentially a typically Romanian one but characteristic of theevolution o f c o p u n i s m . i n . general. Communism everywhere displayed the tendency to slip from ‘cinternationalismy’ to nationalism, in forms that were sometimes extreme andat other times relatively discreet.56 The champion in all categories must beRussia under Stalin,which, under the misleading label of the U.S.S.R., promoted Russian nationalism in the most aggressive and aberrant forms. China monopolized communism in its turn, givingit a specificallynationalcoloring.Romania,Albania, andNorthKorea belong in the same company. But nor did countries like Hungary and Bulgaria hesitate to re-adapt their history to fit a nationalist discourse. The case of the G.D.R., the so-called Democratic Germany, is quite characteristic. As an invented country, a relatively prosperous colony of the Soviet Union, the eastern part of German territoryguardeditself for a long timeagainstanymanifestation of national spirit. However, towards the end, incapable of imagining any other valid argument for its existence, own it had to fall back on the same historicalnationalist rhetoric. Frederick the Great, king of Prussia, previously denounced as the father of Prussian militarism and the adversary of Russia, was rehabilitated, becoming one of founding fathers of the G.D.R. the



The phenomenon is thus general and can be explained, on the whole, by the isolationist character of utopias(regardless of what theyproclaim) and by the incapacity of communism to offer people anything more an, than at best, mediocre existence. There had to be something to compensate for the long series of shortages and frustrations. The “radiant future” no longer worked, but the past could still work. The nationalist discourse was the simplest, most frequent, and often most efficient diversion in the face of the accumulation of real difficulties. The slide towards this type of discourse was also necessary in order to legtimize power. In countries where been it had imposed by a occupying n force, communism could not carry on the intemationalist argument for ever; for the effective validationof the system indigenous values could be ignored. not Seen against this general background, Romania, it is true, went further than others. It is probable that the traditional force of the nationalist discourse, covered over by the anti-nationalism of the 1950s but not annihilated, counted here. The feeling of Romanian individuality, that syndrome of the “Latin island in a Slav sea”, may alsohave counted. Nor shoulditbe forgotten thatthe Communist Party,initially a handful of people, mostof whom had nothing to do with Romanian culture, become had a mass and party so had gradually been “Romaniapized”,just as itsleadershiphadbeen Rommianized withtime.(In 1964, four outof ninemembers of thePoliticalBureauwerestill of “nonRomanian” origm.) Not only were the new leaders Romanians, they came largely from a rural background, like CeauSescu himself, and so were, by virtue of their very origins, more inclined towards autochthonism and isolationism. Even the old intelligentsia, to the extent that it was recuperated, brought with it a wave of nationalism, additionally motivated and amplified reaction to the anti-nationalist in terror of the 1950s. The controversies which followed with the Soviet Union and other neighbors served only to accentuate this nationalist coloring, while the frnal crisis of the regime after 1980 quite simply exacerbated it; the nationalistdiscourse offered the ody way of escape from reality. The passage from one system of values to another auld the modification of power relations within ruling produced the elite a certain relaxation of the communistregme; thephase of relativecalming of tensionscanbe situated broadlybetweenthe years 1964and 19’71. The regimebegan to treatitsown citizens better (the political amnesty of 1964 being symbolic in this respect), and to renewrelationswiththeWest(symbolicalsobeingthevisit by theprime minister, Ion Gheorghe Maurer,toFranceinthesameyear). National values began to be rehabilitated and reintegrated in Romanian culture, while nationalist excess was not yet the order of the day. Historians were able to benefit from the same openness, which allowed them the luxuryof introducing a degree of nuance and even, up to a point, diversification into their interpretations. It is significant that towards the end of this period no less than three syntheses of national history appeared, which, while not radically different, nevertheless presented certain differences of interpretation (The History of Rommia, edited by Miron Constantinescu, Constantin Daicovkiu, and Stefan Pascu, 1969; The H i h y ofthe



Romamm Peoph, edited by Andrei Otetea, 1970; and The History of the R0mamhn.r from the Earbest Times to the Present Dq,by Constantin C. Giurescu and Dinu C. Giurescu, 1971: it is worth noting that C. C. Giurescu was brought back to the university in 1963 and was to remain, until his death in 1977, one of the leading representatives of a historiography free of any anti-national coloringj. Some Romanian historians began to be able to travel beyond the borders of Romania, and Romanian participation in international gatherings increased, involving more and more individuals. Foreign historians came to Romania, too, and it was easier for Western historiographical productions to penetrate. Given their traditional cultural affinities, Romanian historians were especially close the to “Annahs school”, the French “new history”, which could indeed, with prudent treatment, be reconciled more easily with Marxism than any other current. (This was due to theimportance that itgave to structures and mass phenomena in general. This sort of historycould,however,alsoillustrate a resistance to the political, event-based,and nationalist re-elaborationof the past that was beginning to be seen.) Although some have not hesitated to speak of a %beralization”, it was in fact far from being any such thing.There w s liberalization, itis true, in comparison to a the 1950s, to the extent that former political detainees had more liberty outside prison, under more or less discreet surveillance, than within its walls. The chain had been loosened by a few links, just enough for some no longer to notice it, or to want no longertonoticeit, but it had not been broken. The “liberty” of Romanian society between and 1964 1971 was limited and controlled. The Romanians, as most political scientists recognize, did not experience a true process of de-Stalinization. The Party and the Securitate kept the process under control the whole time, and when the degree of “liberty” granted began to seem disturbing, they had no difficulty in turning the process back agam. One observation is necessary with reference not only to the sub-period under discussion but also to later history, concerning the reconsideration of Romanian historical and cultural traditions. Year by year, and name by name, the communist regime integrated into its value system a substantial part, indeed the greater part, of the national inheritance. All the great historians were recuperated in the end, Iorga in the first years of the “new wave”, and G. I. Brtitianu, whom the communists could not so easily forgive for his death in the prison at Sighet, closer to the end. Many of their works republished. were Between killing a man, physically or morally, and publishing his books, there is undoubtedly a difference. But the recuperation was at the price of sacrificing the spirit of Romanian culture, which was profoundly incompatible with communism and yet wasnow obliged to fit into itsschemas.Writers,scholars,andpoliticiam, whonot onlyhadhad nothing to do with communism but had utterly detested it and in some cases been among its victims, were posthumously obliged to uphold the communist project. In taking possession of the “cultural heritage”, communism sought to legitimize itself even at a price, that price being the distortion of the authentic repository of national culture.



Let me illustrate thisby two examples.

E. Lovinescu’s History afModem Romaziaz CinXxadoz was republished in 1972. It was the recuperation of one of the most original ideological constructions of the interwar period, but editing was turned into “critical takeover”. Whatever was inconvenient was taken out of the text (respecting, it is true, the convention of suspension marks). Among the passages removed were some in which the essentialmessage of thework is madeexplicit:therefusal of totalitarianism, whether communistor fascist, and belief in the triumph democracy on Western of lines. In addition, the introductory study is careful to underline that Lovinescu did not set out “to elaborate a work of anti-Marxist polemic” and that he even had points in common withhistoricalmaterialism.57Thisisjust too much! Even if Lovinescu’s work was not intended as an anti-Marxist polemic (and why should it havebeen?), it isfundamentally unti-Mam’st thetext is the mostprofoundly different from Marxism and the most clearly anti-communist (from a democratic perspective) in our culture. That is what should have been said, but of course it could not be said. The choice facing the editor was a simple one: to publish the book in “adapted” form, or not to publish it at all. I make no comment on the solution; I merely note it. Nicolae Iorga is another interesting example.He was, as we have seen, a rightwing nationalist, opposed in every fiber of his being to the communist model. The fact that he fell victim to the Legionaries “threw” him into the “anti-fascist” camp (even though the historian had shown sympathy towards Italian fascismand other similarpoliticalexperiments). There is, of course, nothing about the stands he took agamst communism in the texts devoted to him in the communist period. Anyone leafing through school textbooks, for example,willimmediately notice the amalgam: Iorga and other “bourgeois” but “anti-fascist” politicians are mixed in with all sorts of names out ofthe working-class pantheon. Here are a fewsentenceswhichdeservetobereproduced from the. school textbook on the “contemporary historyof Romania”. “In order to achieve a broad front of anti-fascist forces, the Romanian Communist Party gave attention to great the use of progressive, democratic intellectuals. Alongsidea series of intellectuals who were communists or sympathizers with the Communist Party [...I a series of leading politicians and intellectuals of other political orientations were also engaged in this action, such as: Nicolae Titulescu, Nicolae Iorga, Grigore Iunian, Vir@ Madgearu, Dem. Dobrescu, Petre Andrei, Grigore Filipescu, Mitipi Constantinescu, Traian Bratu, etc. All that the detachment of patriotic intellectuals in Romania had that was most valuable, in these years, was strongly enrolled the in democratic, anti-fascist movement.”58 Pupils were to remain with the impression that Iorga, Titulescu, and the rest, “enrolled” in a “patriotic detachment”, were basically following a policy set by the Communist Party! Having become a sort of “anti-fascist fighter”, Iorga joined the ranks of those who contributed, evidently without so wishing, to the legitimizingof the communist regime, in whose prisons the Legionaries had not given him the chanceto die.





The year 1971 saw the unleashing of the Romanian “cultural revolution”. “Liberalization” and “openness” wereput an end to once and for all. Year by year, until its fall in December 1989, the Ceaqescu regime would accentuate the totalitarian pressure, at the same time isolating Romania from the of the world rest (a relatively slow process in the first decade, then in continuous acceleration after 1980). Nationalism became decisive the historical political and argument. United throughout their whole history, united around the single party and the Leader, the the Romanians infused the were with vocation of zmip, in other words, subordination of the individual in the face of the national organism and, at the sametime, a strict delimitation of their own nation inrelationto others. -4s a political instrument of legitimization and domination, nationalism gained advantage from the amalgamation of the authentic nationalist tradition and the specific pursued aims by the communist dictatorship. It seemed like a recuperation, when in the first instance it was actuallymanipzllation. a Such a re-elaboration of history presupposes an attenuation of the mechanism of class s t r u d e . However,the two divergentinterpretations-the nationalist interpretation and the social conflict interpretation-continued to coexist, taking advantage of the capacity of communist dialectic cheerfully to harmonize contradictions of any sort. The Romanians needed a history of great achievements, and they hadone. The evolution in interpretations of the interwar years is characteristic. Initially, every evil imaginable w s attributed to this period-logically enough, since it was a in bankruptcy the of the bourgeoisie that the o r i p s and ,justifications of proletarian revolution were to be found. In the new phase, the interwar years were appreciably improved. The merits (relative, it should be understood) of bourgeois democracy; the importance (forall its limits) of the agrariarl reform; the increasein production, especiallyindustrialproduction;thesuccessesofRomanianforeign policy; and the remarkable level of scientific and cultural creation were all highlighted. Another motive for pride was the Romanian resistance to fascism. Romania had succeeded fora long time in preserving its democratic system, while in most European states dictatorships of fascist type were being set up. References to the extent of foreign capital, the exploitationof the workers, and the difficulties of the peasants had the role of diminishing the positive aspects, but the overall picture tended to become more and more favorable. (In some interpretations it might benoticed that the dictatorship of Carol I1 became an “authoritarian regime”,in contrast to thedictatorships in other European countries, and the Antonescu government was sweetened by a blurring, or even elimination, of its fascistcharacteristics.) How couldthisevermorefavorableperspective on the interwar period be squared with the imperative necessity brutallyto overthrow its system? How could an appreciation, albeit with reservations, of the democratic regime squared the be with installation of itsperfect antithesis-communist

respected by the “others”. but the logic of double-talk is at the very heart of communist ideology. characterized by a notable shift from the contemporary towards origins. and of the lion’s brood. It is interesting that. from theSoviet Uni0n. which specialized in monographs on labor struggles and heroes of the working class. ”he great event took place in 1980. The king’s coup d’btat on 23 August1944. of course. That waswherelegitimacyand unity had to be sought above all. but without. which unfortunately corresponded little to the Romanian case).78 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS totalitarianism? Of course they could not be. Burebista offered Ceaugescu the supreme legitimization. Verses like this resounded in the great stadium: The land had sworn him fealty. the “heroic” phase of the revolution. his name and destinyfor ever are encrusted In the eternity of the land. Ancient history became even more politicized than contemporary history. as the ancient king’s state prefigured in many ways (unitary. authoritarian. when everything available was put together to confection the 2050th (?) anniversary of the foundingof the “unitary and centralized” Dacian state under Burebista. From a military point of view.) his own Romania. The 1950s. under the leadership of the Communist Party.however. . The ridiculous attained dizzying heights when the “Institute of History of the Party”. carried out. and would follow him in things all Fifteen years had passed since firstat its head he stood His face. which theintervention of the Romanian army is said to have shortened by at least six months. with the highlighting of certain exaggerationsand abuses. and the virtues of overthrowing the interwar system on the other. touching the foundations of the communist system itself. in the name of a “communism of humanity” (an expression apparently inspired by the “socialism with a human face” of the “Prague Spring”. as thedictator liked to imagine it.especiallyto the issue of Dacian origins. the overthrow of which was nevertheless the starting point of the mythologizing of the communist revolution.whichhad subsequently become(‘the liberation of the country by the glorious Soviet army”. anti-fascist andanti-imperialist”. while the gentler treatment of Antonescu was in line with thenationalist discourse and detachment. Everything grew to the same rhythm: the virtues of interwar Romania on the one hand. at least formally. even attracted “severe” looks. The “obsessive decade” permitted Ceaugescutodraw the line between himself and state terrorism and pro-Sovietism. there took place a “semi-rehabilitation” of the Antonescu r e p e . passed through the variant “armed anti-fascist insurrection” to be apotheosized finally as “revolution of national andsocial liberation. of course.5~ The Ceaugescu era was. turned its attention towards antiquity and devoted itself. the “two hundred days earlier” theory places Romania among the principal victors of the Second World War. etc. inparallelwith these remarkable re-elaborations. centralized.

Not that this deterred Nicolae Copoiu. MYTHOLOGY 79 It was not. Regardless of who or what was being commemorated. when the commemoration ofMircea the Old generated a veritable psychosis. Everythingannounced thesupremefulfillment of Romanianhistory.60 of One commemoration followed another. in the country’s profoundest admiration Stands the comradeof his life. Our historians can look as much as they like in the Turkish archives for RomanianOttoman bilateral treaties.61 But Ceaugescu and his people could not allow his predecessors to make even the slightest abdicationof dignity and national sovereignty. The nationalism of theCeaugescueraalsomanifesteditselfin a specific manner in the curious. just like Ceaugescu with Moscow and Washington. Burebista that was magnified. dl organized according to the same pattern. the Ceaugescu era. in fact. This is why. No less interesting the from point of view of the national-communist actualization of history the was question of the capit~h&vzs. Constantin Giurescu demonstrated in 1908 (in The Capituhhions c f Modavia with the Ottoman Porte) that the texts in question had been no more than patriotic forgeries. the prince was required to give up being “old” and become. who could not be identified in ancient Dacia. allegedly concluded by the Romanian lands with the Ottoman Empire. andof his vibrant ideal: ’Tis Elena Ceaugescu. Beside him. At best they will find unilateral “privileges” granted by the sultans to princes much lower than themselves in the hierarchy of the time. form of protocbronism.HISTORY. or become again. from republishing the documents as if they had been authentic. The conclusion thenhadbeen that almosteveryvaluableachievementin human . IDEOLOGY. noble soul a Romanian of Good mother. underline continaip and anip. same the Romanian history. they would start with origins. the as was perpetuated throughout the millennia. They “proved” that theRomanianlandshadtreatedwiththe Ottoman Porte as eqaah. the dictator finding himself again in his forerunners. All the more so as there appeared a feminine double. Anyone with the slightest ideaof medieval history knows that relations then were fundamentally hierarchical and far from our current principles of “equality”. ((the Great” (any deviation from this epithet being considered a serious political error). History was thus abolished.politician and scholar renown. were cited towards the end of the eighteenth century and in the nineteenth century as legal arguments for autonomy and in support of the revival of rights that had not been respected by thesuzerainpower. a prominent memberof the Institute of History of the Party. Suddenly capitulations the became a matter of political dogma.Applyingthedemystifyingprinciples of the “critical school”. These treaties. real or formal. but not entirely unprecedented. always sameitself.62 What wasprobablythe most virulentstrain of thediseasehad broken out in Stalin’s Russia in the middle of the nationalist phase of the 1940s and 1950s. but his successor centuries later. in 1986. and end with the present.

a hero “more contemporary than Hamlet. in the interpretation of Dan Zamfirescu. was metamorphosed into a revolutiontowardsthe end of Ceaugescu’srule. Anyone who proclaimed that Marconi rather than Popov was the inventor of radio risked years of imprisonment (not just in Russia. and technology had been the workof Russian minds. but in a highly a similarlogic. the sociologist Ilie BQdescu took it upon himself to demonstrate how Eminescu revolutionizedworld sociology.not in imitation but as the product of as a re-actualization. Don Quixote. at a timewhen no one else in Europe was thinking of cutting borders according to ethnic criteria. became the equalof Homer. three and a half centuries to conclude that the before the French. Once the affirmation of Romanian values had become confused with patriotism. general the tendency was a gradual accentuation of isolationism and cultural megalomania. Ion Creangi. Meanwhile. Turning toculturalachievements. In his turn. the Bobilna uprising. As an anteriority of five years did not mean very much. there followed a veritablecompetition among “patriotsy7. Ceaugescu never explained his profound thinking. in a fascinating text. (In a way itcanbeseen amplified manner marked by autochthonism.whoseproposal waslimitedto a number of cultural “firsts”. a fact demonstrated by the union under Michael. of national values. the revolution of Horea posed once again as precursor of the French Revolution. As there was no longer a Titu Maiorescu to mock at overheated minds. who had spent several years in a communist prison. But this tendency. had no way of foreseeing the huge expansion of his “discovery”. in but Romania too). in comparison with which the Florentine secretary’s effort seems much less inspired: “The Teacbingf are a book of initiation. too.andAlyoshaKaramazov” and quitesimply “the character who dominates world historyin our centuryyy.even and by the multiple manifestations of Romanianunitybefore1600. Shakespeare.each hoping his discourse about the past would improve his present position inthecultural and political hierarchy. in which orders issued from above joined hands with personal initiatives (includmg some of the craziest . and Goethe-or even their superior-as the creator of Ivan TurbincQ. It was yet another illustration of the attraction held out to certain exponents of Romanian culture. Of course Papu.) The concept was launched in 1974by Edgar Papu.64 From1971 to 1989.it was as just easy to demonstrate the superiority of the Teacbingf of Neagoe Basarab Machiavelli’s to Paizce. so it remained for historians to take the idea hrther and show how the Transylvanian peasants had had a revolution in 1437. sense of the Romanian ruler’s work. Paul Anghel underlines the universal. Their equivalent cannot even be found in Byzantium”63”perhaps only in ancient India. and even exacerbation. an intellectual trained the in interwar period. Faust. The Romanian protochronist model followed the same line. of similar patriotic attempts in the nineteenth century. almost cosmic. By a similar it possible logicwas Romanianshad also inventedthe modern nationandthenational state.80 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS culture science.bythe authority of the dictator himself. who were allured by the rehabilitation.

The latter. which was patronized by Ilie Ceaugescu.wherethey found indirect or disguised ways to manifestthemselves. previous synthesis. divergent points of view never ceased to multiply. The pure. gained appreciably in influence after 1980.65. In thefirstcasethe stumbling blockhadbeen the last hundred years of history.thereweremarkeddifferences from one individual to thenextandbetweendifferentfields. On the contrary.Thistimethings got so complicated that not even one volumecould appear. The limiting of freedom of expressioncould notdo away with the real diversity of points of view and sensibilities. the case of the Institute of History of the Party and the Center for Military History. general.pr. . A tendency to “militarize” history took shape (both in the interpretation of the past and in the organization of research. does not in any way account for the entire Romanian cultural and historiographical spectrum. of course. and autochthonists opted for the formula. The ‘Tarty line”wasfollowedespeciallyclosely by historians in positions closer to the center of power and to the conditionof activist.howeversmallitmight be. Especially among writers and critics there was a notable opposition towards aggressive autochthonism andthe protochronist phenomenon. It is certainthattheresult was not the often invoked “Iistorical front” so much as a disordered and inefficient historiographical of the movement. MYTHOLOGY .focussing on details of little apparent relevance but which could come to symbolize real divergences. never reached the printers. hard Dacianism of the Party and military historians came . exclusively). Party military historians. Now the project got bogged down in the first millennium. a ten-volume treatise on thehistory of Romania launched as a project in 1975. 1984-1989). and “historian”. More reticenceinthe adoption of officialslogans and theexcesseswhich accompaniedthemwasshown by universityhistoriansandresearchersinthe “civilian”institutes(thoughhere. IDEOLOGY. historians.ng or revol~~otz. For this reason the great planned historiographical synthesis Ceaqescu era. It is significant that the only major synthesis of history published inthetime of Ceaugescuwas the MLtaty Histoy of the RDmanian Peyde (six volumes. which came tobea “substitute” for the ever-postponed synthesisof national history.the worst affected being contemporary history). Given the limited space amilable these contradictions become could remarkably concentrated. also conceived The in ten volumes. and participation in international gatherings).S! protochronist discoveries).HISTORY.S. nor did historians recite a uniform litany. This was. . Katherine Verdery given has a very suggestive definition of the different orientations in Romanianhistoriography. brother of the dictator.These were expressed within the space that remainedfree. the publication of results. broadly separating those who were determined to maintain a certain professional standard from those ready to apply promptly (often adding something of their own) any orientation dictated by political considerations. had come to grief after the appearance of volume IV in 1964 (it had got up to 1878). latter which was considered to give enhanced value to the national past. in the first place (though not.too. starting fromthenameused for the Horea episode: z.

continuity. a historical mentality which has been long outdated in Western Europe continues to affect Romanian culture and society to the full. even in a distorted manner. bestowed credibility and legitimacy on the regime and an aura of patriotism on the dictator-at least until the Romanians began to suffer from hunger and cold. All these divergences. I say “sole” because it could be sidestepped but not counteracted. And if historians sometimes managed to find safety in less exposed areas or by making use of professional subtlety. obsessively repeated. The dominant. . in the consolidation and prolongmg of the Ceaugescu dictatorship. The adoption and amplification of a nineteenthcentury national mythology. Not enough emphasis has been placed 011 the role played by this type of historical discourse. Mental constellations have a longer life than material structures. etc. fought with explicit arguments or matched by another coherent discourse. even it1 a seiise the sole. The glorious shades of the past could not prevent economic disaster and the explosion of social tensions. gave a foretaste of the much clearer divisions that have emerged since 1989 in matters of professional competence. in as much as the communist-nationalist image of history corresponded to a traditional mental pattern (Daco-Roman origins. the population as a whole was subjected-through the current propaganda channels-to a virulent nationalist demagogy. compressed into a limited problematic and dampened by the totalitarian atmosphere. struggle for independence. Thanks to the communist regime. the role of the Romanians in defending Europe. the victimization of the Romanians at the hands of the “others”.82 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS up against the more balanced position of the university historians and professional archaeologists. discourse in the time of Ceaugescu was that of nationalism. political orientation. and interpretative inclination alike (including the famous Romanian dilemma of the relation between autochthonism and Europeanism). But the historical mythology accumulated in the Ceaqescu era has outlived the dictator himself.) and seemed to offer the most appropriate reaction to the anti-nationalism of the preceding period and the imperialism of Moscow.

linkswhichbind it to the present. the great mythologicalconfigurations around whichthenational consciousness has crystallized and evolved. the jrst foundation must be ceaselessly renewed and consolidated. Burebista or Cuza. choosing from among the multitude of possibilities.CHAPTER ” U V 0 origlns SOMEPIUNCIPLES Having surveyed stages the through which Romanian historical ideology has passed. O r i p s are not self-evident. In eachcasethere is a choicetobemade. infact. which are. yet eternal. not objective facts. Thus. than a begmning. we might recognize as a founding event Daco-Roman the synthesis on the territory of Dacia. the creation of Greater of December 1989. the first flint tools or the “dismounting” of Negru VodQ. theunion of 1859. more ideologized. Each community. I now propose to analyze one by one its fundamental components.theunionof 1600. morerecently. or.andit is made not according to any objectivescientific standard buton thebasis of theideologicalresources and present projects of the community. giving birth to more and more new founding moments. .thebirthcertificate of a renewed. legitimizes itself in terms of its origns. It is worth noting that foundation myths tend to multiply like links in a chain. not just out of respect for chronological criteria but above all because of the exceptional significance offoundation myths. We can invoke the founding of Rome or the Cucuteni culture.Nothing is more contemporary.therevolution extent to which we considerthis a freshbeginning. to the Romania in 1918. It is natural to start with beginnings. the Getae of Herodotusor the emperor Trajan. and see this initial foundation as being reactualized and consolidated by new founding events: the formation of the principalities. from the tribe to the modern nation. Romania. Foundation myths are a condensation of the community’s own consciousnessof itself. Inall times and all cultures these have been invested with great value and havebeencontinuallyremembered andcommemorated.reiterations of theoriginalfoundation. identified with the Romania of today.

in the slide from traditional to modern forms. Francus and Brutus. with an exceptional personality being central to thefounding act. (See the services for November 1778 and January 1779. as an act attributed to an development of a community exceptional hero. apparently secularized. like any other scheme it reflects a particular vision history based on a particular of view of the present. In the period French same the and the English were dignifying origins invented their with peregrinations. The distance in time and the difference of mentality allow us. Romanian founding myths are simply one individual case of a quasi-universal mythologcal category. All this gives the new structures a nobility and a transcendent sense. it takes its place within the organic or civilization. Roots become more important than nobility of origms-a translation that we shall be able to trace in the Romanian historical consciousness too. in line with the “scientific”. but the present time imposed its obligations-the reign of Alexandru Ipsilanti.writing two centuries ago. That these myths fit into a wider typology can be seen. indeed. Even in its later. and places religious and cultural events in the foreground.and democratic phase of historical discourse. to perceivemore clearly the ideological sense behind the systematization of history in terms of founding moments. capable of propellingapreviouslyempty or amorphous e x nib&. It is neither correct nor incorrect. The former tend. above the contingencies history.which. Serban Cantacuzino. under whom Chesarie was writing. and especially the work of Trajan. in general. The erudite cleric’s scheme relates to only Wallachia. nationalist.thetranslation of books from Slavonic into Romanian (under Matei Basarab. as they are recorded in the chronicles-the “dismounting7’ of Negru VodQ in Wallachia and the double “dismounting”of Dragog Bogdan Moldavia-fit and in perfectly within the traditional typology. later consolidated by Saint Constantine (the emperor Constantine the Great). to place a high value on external interventions.foundation retains a mystical significance that places it in the zone of the perennial. forms. It can likewise be observedthat the foundation is personalized. and-somewhat surprisingly. of The foundation myths of the Romanian principalities.seeks to justify the present wid1 reference to origins and to link the two ends of history by means of intermediary markers. . bringing their founding heroes. too. The foundation is no longer perceived a as rupture. the archetypal essence of the foundation myth is inseparable from the notion of the samd.84 HISTORY AND MYTHROMANIAN IN CONSCIOUSNESS For Bishop Chesarie of Ri”mnic. all the way from the far-off city Troy. reproduced by Ioan Bianu and Nerva Hodog in Bibbograja mmdneasca‘vecbe).regardless of space or time. in this case. creations of something fundaspace into history. and Constantin Brincoveanu). Wefindcreations mentally new. of Modern foundation myths place a higher value on indigenous origms. thefounding phases were four in number: the wars of the Dacians and Romans. the building of the monasteries of Cimpulung and Curtea de Argeg (symbolizingthe foundation of WallachiabyRadu Negru).

indeed with intensified force. who were kept in a condition of clear inferiority by the Hungarian ruling elite. so they were able to use sources and secondary works written in that language. Romanian historiography was emergmg from its Slavonic phase. for the simple reasons that. having recourse to a Roman origin. why was an uninterrupted Dacian consciousness not also preserved? In fact. giving them nobility and prestige. This is made the real foundation. the conquest and colonization of Dacia.ORIGINS 85 ROMAN TIMES The modem period opens under the sign of the Romanfotlndatibn myth. A few decades later. under the title About the MoHaBatz People. preserved uninterrupted in Romanian society. and the Roman imperial tradition survived both in the Holy Roman Empire and in the desire of Russia to be considered the “third Rome”. Miron Costin composed the first “monograph” on the Roman origins of his people. and as far as possible a Roman origin without the slightest foreign mixture. they used their origins as a weapon. It was Westerners who first noted the connectioii between Romanians and Romans. who accepted a Daco-Roman mixing in his Histoy of Wallacbia. Both chroniclers had studied in Poland and knew Latin. Purity of origins was not in question. Certainly nothing in their arguments concerning Romanian origins can be linked to any earlier indigenous source. As campaigners for the emmcipation of the Romanians of Transylvania. with the “dismountings” in the Romanian lands seen as belonging to a later phase. who first noted that the origin of the Romanians was in “Rim”.’ In this case. and had access to historical texts referring to the conquest and colonization of Dacia. not only in the fact that the chronicles were now compiled in Romanian. with the Dacians exterminated or expelled to make way for the conquerors. With the exception of the high steward Constantin Cantacuzino. in the seventeenth century. as repetitions of the first creation. As descendants . In Romanian historiography it was Grigore Ureche. the invocation of distant origins cannot be a matter of popular consciousness but of intellectual combinations with a well-determined ideological and political purpose. The starting point became Rome. For the Transylvanian scholars. Regardless of their Latin origins. would agree to nothing less than a pure Roman o r i p . the chroniclers and later historians. Their historical curiosity went no further back than the founding of the Romanian states. from Dimitrie Cantemir to the Transylvanian School. Roman origin made a strong mark on the individuality of the Romanian lands. towards the middle of the seventeenth century. the Romanians evolved until around 1600 in a predominantly Slavonic cultural environment. The attempt by some researchers to connect this myth to a Roman consciousness. with their knowledge of Latin. Latin was the language of culture throughout most of Europe. the “dismounting” of Trajan. they could observe the similarities between Romanian and the ancient language. The principle of “external intervention” still applied. but in the sense of a shifting of cultural and historical reference points. essential as this was. seems to me to be illusory. At that time. was even more essential than for their precursors in the principalities.

in hisHistoy oftbe Beginning of tbe Romanians in D a h (1812). Such marriages could not have taken place because. been kept by the Romanians too. The most elaborate demonstration is that of Petru Maior.whoselanguage wasstill theofficiallanguage of Hungary andTransylvania. firstly and most importantly. The main difficulty for the Transylvanian scholars explaining was the disappearance of the Dacians. Romanian. i816) and Dionisie Fotino (Histog $OB Daau. while others. Greek andothers. fled from Dacia and went to their neighbors and friends. brings together all these arguments. historiography in the principalities. Maior emphasizes. this explains the survival of the Romanian people and the Romanian language. The 1828 Tabkazt bistoriqzle of Moldavia. This is a point of view which we find in Greek historians settled in Romanian the 1andsDimitrie Philippide (Histoy $Romania. simply. Moreover.expulsion from the land of Dacia(Budai-Deleanusaw. who. or at least their non-participation in the formation of theRomanianpeople. the ancestors of the Poles) quite or.Solutionsinvokedincludedextermination. And even if some women had survived-Maiorconcedesthepossibilityonly to reduce the hypothesis to the absurd-‘?he very excellence of the Roman blood was nevertheless sufficient to prevent the Romans from marrying such barbarians as the Dacian women were”. but one of extermination. and the more cosmopolitan products of the Phanariot period could not competewith the purely . which had entered a phase of Greek influence with the period of Phanariot rule.86 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS of themasters of theworld. However. theRomanianhistoriography of thenineteenthcenturyevolved along the national lines marked out by the Transylvanian School. there were neither men nor women left in Dacia. The contrast with the Hungarians is striking: ‘ m e n they came to Pannonia [.. mentioned in chapter one. This is how he deals with the question of whether theRomansmight not stillhavemarried Dacian women. killedeach other”. It may be noted that around 1800. 1818-1819)but alsowiththeRomaniansIenQchitiiViciirescuand Naum Rimniceanu(the latter in an essaylcalled On the Ongin oftbe Romanians and in his introduction to the Cbmnolbgy of tbe Lords of Wallacbia).I they did not even have women of their own people” and so “were forced to marry women of other peoples: Russian. “among the Romans it was shameful to marry women of any other people”. an incompatibility in civilization that preventedthe two peoples from blendingtogether. “with all their women and children. Bulgarian.”2 The nobility and purity of the Romanians thus emerge with enhanced value in antithesis to the Hungarian mixture. is not even shy of affirming the Dacian origin of the Moldavians. Slav. let alone the “savages” of Dacia. the Sarmatians”. treated Daco-Roman fusion as a natural phenomenon. the Romanians could not go on for ever accepting the supremacy of a people inferior to themselves-according to the standards of the time-in “race” and origin.inDaciansforced to leavetheir country. “unable to escape before the Roman advance. Maior takes pains to demonstrate that the war was not a conventional one. The habit of “not marrying women of another language” has. Many Dacians..

Through the of Romans. with a view to their elimination) and an etymological spelling system hadbeen adopted. the “purification” of which was to bring it as close as possible to the original Latin.thenthey should remain Romans and cast off all foreign influences. interpretations which do of theRomaniannationarerare. perhaps even where the institutional organization of modem Romania concerned was was (this the viewpoint of BZrnutiu. The dictionary was both the highest expression of Latinism.whichhadcommissionedtheproject. but these do not so much concern the nature of the origins themselvesastheirrelationtothepresent. in the period between 1830 and 1860.itwas understood). all contributed tothehighlighting of the Roman model. Even such bitter enemies in other issues of national history as the Junimists and . l h e Romanian national movement that emerged after 1821. Once it had been purified of non-Latin elements (listed in the glossary. sought to carry to its ultimate conclusions the Latinism established previous generations of the by Transylvanian School.and its swansong. the shift towards the West and towardstheWesternmodel of civilization. Differences of not uphold theLatinpurity interpretation exist. the language reworked as by Laurian bore only a vague resemblance to authentic Romanian. If theRomanianswereRomans.ORIGINS 87 Romanianproject of thescholars on the other side of the mountains. including the Academic Society (founded in 1867 and known from 1879 as the RomanianAcademy). The excellence of the foundation myth guaranteed the excellence of the Romanian future. in spite of the mediocrity of the present. The attempt tocreate an artificial language only provoked laughter and permanently discredited the Latinist school. This is what decided August Treboniu Laurian. but rather a retum to source. in collaboration with Ioan Massim. the degreetowhichtheycanbe actualized. The Latinid scbool. The outstanding monument of this tendency was the Dictionary oftbe Romanian Lngtlage. the mastermind of the tendency. represented primarilyby Transylvanians but not restricted to Transylvania(sinceTransylvaniansalreadyoccupied important positions inthe cultural system of the principalities and later of united Romania). The appearance of this work demonstrated the key positions occupied by Latinists Romanian in culture. published in two volumes and a glossary by Laurian. to begin the history of his people as naturally as possible with the foundation of Rome (just as SamuilMicuhad done previousl!). The result was far beyond expectations.If the Romanians were pure Romans. the Romanians could present themselves to the West as the equals anybody. opposed by Maiorescu) and certainly in the area of the Romanian language. This is why.theprolongation of the history of Rome. between 1871 and 1876. and the phenomenon of acculturation no longer meant borrowing. the to a ground of civilization shared with the civilization of the West. then their history was simply Roman history.andthecomplexes of a small country that aspired to play a rolein Europe by the restoration of old Dacia (RomanDacia.

The famouspassagein Eutropius. “purity” was a thing of the past. Sincai.I. Kogiilniceanu. and“not justthelow-class mob” but “alsoleadingfamilieswere brought or moved toDacia”.. particular the profile of the Romanian language could explained be precisely by the input of thesedifferentelements. which can be traced even in the web of Romanian folklore: ‘‘Our peasants have preserved a multitude of Roman superstitions. I<o@niceam pointed out the necessity of distinguishing between Romaniansand Romans. First.. In contrast. Until about the middle of the century there was near unanimity on the Latin affiliation of the Romanian people.s An aristocraticcolonizationindeed! In order toexplainthe regional variants of the Romanian language.I they brought very many settlers into Dacia from the whole Roman world. but especially from Rome and Italy”.anadversary of Latinistpurism. we could be pure Romans. there were differences between the Latinists and those who were content simply to note the fact of Roman origin. with the transforming of contemporary Romanians into Romans with the consequences that we have already seen (with respect to the Romanian in language. These can be summed up in three main points... in which all claims concerning the colonization of Dacia found their support. too. but arguedthatthesewerestrictly of Italianorigm. in his Histoire de h Vahcbie.one of the most severe critics of Latinist abuses. in the sense that for them the Romanians were descended from the Romans. [. makes a clear-cut affirmation.6 Even without invoking the Dacians. not . for example). of the Roman background of his people. from the Romans onwards:“The Romanians have never wanted to take in marriage women of another folk. Miior admitted the presence in Dacia of dialectalvarieties. preserving their ways and the customs of their ancestors..88 HISTORY AND MYTHROMANIAN IN CONSCIOUSNESS Hasdeu joined forces to denounce the sacrifice of the Romania1 language on the altar of an imposed Latinity. The Romanians had to prove themselves alone and not rely for ever on their Roman ancestors for “assistance”. between origms and present. mentions as a fact needing no further comment that Dacia was colonized by the Romans “after the annihilation of its inhabitants”. the critics of Latinism did not agree with the abusive actualization of origins. The second point concerned the purity of Roman blood. actually states perfectly clearly that the colonists came “from the whole Roman world” (extoto orbe mmano).. their weddings include ceremonies practiced by the citizens of Rome [. that is. For a long time this was almost a “taboo” subject. 111 opposing ‘Xomat~omat~ia”his 1843 Opening Word.could accept without complexes a mixing of colonists coming from the most diverse provinces of the empire. without basinghimself on any supplementary information.4 All the same. the opponents ofLatinism were basically Latinists themselves. AlecuRusso.I The Romanianshavealwaysremained a nation apart. expanded this expression in his own way: “[ . without losing anything of the daring and courage of the citizens of Rome.” The preservation of undiluted purity seemed to him an essential feature of Romanian history.”3 Bilcescu. However. in The Romanians zlnder tbe Voivode Michael the Brave.

the romantics contributed totheconsolidation 0. the result of a Daco-Roman fusion. preparing the ground for the coming re-elaboration orips. he sees in the race of mountain people.Whatcouldbemore noble than . first by a few non-conformists and later by Romanian historiography as a whole. and even in their speech. exclaimed Ko@niceanu in his famous speech of 1843. in another text (The Stone gtbe fime Tree-accounts of travel in the Moldavian mountains).fthetheme of the Dacians. The Dacians in their t began u ? to be recognized. and lastly. while Decebalus is the hero of the world. It was basicallya combination. of Western sources (the Romans and kinship with Latin sister nations) and sources of an indigenous nature (the Dacians). The Romanians could now become themselves. The inferiority complex which had promoted the Romans was no longer so justified after the foundation of Romania. In any case.them. characteristic of the phase that Romanian society had reached in its evolution. and theproclamation of the of kingdom. “the greatest barbarian king of all time. Dacians the began to be perceived other than a as burdensome barbarian element.9 of DACIANS ROMANS: A DIFFICULT S ~ ~ E S I S AND It would soon be time for a more complete and nuanced synthesis. to symbolized by the heroism of Decebalus and the pathetic scene of collective suicide? ‘Decebalus”. Russo went one step further: while only Roman colonists appear in the essay to which I have already referred. the same sublime idea: the independence of their country! Both are heroes.ORIGINS 89 Thirdly. expressed himselfas follows: “The one and the other both had the same aim.letitbe noted. The fact that Dacia had been colonized not only. and not even primarily. a Moldavian hero. Their never-contested love of liberty and spirit of sacrifice seemed. the gaming independence. the acceptance of mixing meant that complexeshadbeen at leastpartiallyhealed. the Daciansappear in the romantic period-until after 1850-more as mythical ancestor figures. made towards. as afounding element of the Romanian people. sunk deep into a time before history. Kogilniceanu spoke in his Opening Vord of “the Dacians. by inhabitants of Rome and the rest of Italy. more worthy to be on the throne of Rome than the rascally descendants of Augustus!”7 Alecu Russo. began to be recognized and de-dramatized. but Stephenis a more local hero.in a land which still recalled their untamed courage.sacrifice for one’s country and death in preference slavery. capable only of upsetting the schema of Romanian Latinity. Although they only rarely kept them as a founding factor. For all the concessions.. attempting to draw a parallel between Decebalus and Stephen the Great. not blood. to the romantic revolutionary generation.’’8 This admiration did not necessarily modify Latinist the interpretation of origns. Purity and nobility of blood ceasedtobedecisiveconsiderations(althoughtheycontin‘ued to havea certain force in the arsenal of national arguments). to be virtues worthy of admiration and imitation. . whose soil we haveinherited”-soil.

In 1557. pointing out that (‘no one in their right mind” could believe such a thing. and Romans. and the eastern replica of the French model. The “reduction of the menfolk” mentioned by Eutropius had been abusively amplified into the extermination of a .10 The Thracians. but the Dacians proceeded to install themselves permanently on the scene. with Maior’s nonchalance. the inheritor of old Rome. While in the already-mentioned text of 1851 this statesman. in Romanian The Celts did not manage their impose presence to consciousness. to put more of an accent on their Gaulish base (so much so that the French Revolution could beschematized as a confrontation between the Gaulishpeople and an aristocracy of Frankish origin. by an emphasis on the native Slavs. The French. with the former taking a long overdue revenge on the latter). completed the profile of a Romania that should at the same time be itself.totheFrench. somewhat provocativelygiventhepredominance of the Latinist current at the time. and thus the Dacians. the phenomenon fits within the typology of the evolution of foundation myths. supplemented by linguistic deductions archaeological and investigations. even before the historians. a claim that clarifies the purpose of thisapproach. too. and in Russia the traditional version of the founding of the state by the external intervention of theVarangianscametobe opposed. The Romanians are not just descended from Romans. The role of France in the coming union of the principalities seemed overwhelming. in the name of Russian patriotism. an unusual presence in the Romanian mythology of origins. had begun. but from Thracians. In 1860.90 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS Indeed.thustotheGaulsand.throughthem. the progress of research and of historical conceptions no longer permitted the ignoring of thenativepopulation or theillusion of anexclusivelyItalian colonization. By . I. “Did the Dacians Perish?” The young historian demonstrated that the Transylvanian School and its epigones had erected their whole scaffolding on a forced interpretation of the ancient sources.1870 it was hard to go on claiming. deserved to be invoked since through them we could be more closely related to the French. while the Celts. Briitianu published a series of articles in the newspaper Rom&~uh under the title Histon’cal StHdies OB the Ongins 4Our NatiomLty.ri Lterzzturz an important n study entitled.nowthe picture appears more complex. Hasdeu published i Fo$a de istomi . Thus “wearethreetimesstrongerandmorepowerful”. A more adequate interpretation of the literary sources. as early as the Renaissance. that the ancestors of the Romanians had come from Italy while the Dacian men had been exterminated their and womenfolk disregarded by the conquerors. clearly illustrating the mechanismof the actualization of origins and the political charge carried by foundation myths. Celts. We may note the intervention in this question of a politician. A connection to the Celts. It is a remarkabie piece of advocacy. the Romans the political principle and civilization. C. Maiorescu put a lid on the matter. so preoccupied with origins. as was the French model of civilization. As we have seen. symbolized rootedness in the soil of the land. had been content to invoke the multitude of Latin colonists and the transmission of their virtues to the Romaulians. was opening the door towards a gradual affirmation of the Dacians.

plusfifteenplace-names. Hasdeu concluded. ”he Dacian substratum of the Romanian people is thus placed within a general schema historical and linguistic evolution.r.This was a decisiveargumentinfavor of the survival of the Dacians their and contribution to. and finally the Slavs. this time as part of an overall perspective. In cCStraturn and Substratum: The Genealogy of theBalkan Peoples” (his introduction to the third volume of Etymohgilwm Magnzm Romaniae). managing to identie a total of eightyfour. published in the the .. journalist. “our nationalitywasformed out of a number of elements. Hasdeu takes up the problem of the Dacian-Roman-Rornanian connection again. The ultimate predominance of one of the elements shouldnot lead us to ignore the presence of deeper layers. in which he demonstrated the Dacian origm of the words noban.!!?. overlaid by the Romans.the. The myth of purity was cast to the winds. It is hardly necessary to say that all too few of Hasdeu’s etymologies have stood up to more recent research. . without any diminishing of the importance of the Romans.” In his numerous laterworks. etc.includingthe Cnlicai Histoty of the Romanians. He hadaspecialfaithinthe historical virtues of linguistics.“TheOrigins of Shepherding among the Romanians’?(1874). of While Hasdeu was doing battlewithwords. stin& sheepfold complex with summer huts for’ shepherds. st!@ tlrda’and b&nqZ. which. then the Thracims. The truth is that in the question of Dacian etymology it is possible to affirm almost anything. In 1858 Cezar Bolliac (1813-18&1). in which diverse constitutive elements gave birth to a fundamentally new synthesis. He shows that the peoples of the Balkan Peninsula were formed by the superposition of successive strata: the original “Pelasgians”. Ciobun: shepherd. The Dacims had not perished. ~lrda’ and bh@ varieties of cheese made from ewes’ 7’mn. bad. Thus.* Thus shepherding terminology confirmed Daco-Roman continuity. the Dacian language itself.). Hasdeu continued to attempt. he took issue with the Latinist doctrine. and politician.k newspaper &”a veritable manifestounder .ization. believing that the origin and evolution of words could offer afaithfblmirror of history. given that we know next to nothing about the essential evidence. none of which was predominant”.article. unable * . two years before Hasdeu. . writer. the Dacian-ness of the Romanians. he saw as descending to a considerable extent from thecivilization of theindigenousDacians.. Underneath present linguistic differences be can seen the relatedness of the Balkan peoples Thracian-ness (the of the Bulgarians. the Romanian synthesis. Significant in this connection isHasdeu’s.Dac’?y:’Y. mdk. despite the paucity of documentation.?!??t. and the colonization had not been an infusion of pure Romans but of people from the most diverseorigins. The Romanians appeared as a “chemical composition”. which.anamateurarchaeologistwas turning the country upside down in search of ancient Dacian material remains. buci head-shepherd.whole people. a reconstruction of the old Romanian civil. He carried out averitable “hunt” for Dacian words in the Romanian language. both from an ethnic point of view and in terms of the perpetuation of ancient practices.

in the 1870s. defended by Grigore Tocilescu in 1876 at the University of Prague and awarded the Academic Society’s prize. Eminescu invoked Dacians and Romans alike with equal pride. The important thing is that he“stirredup”theDacian substratum. If “pan-Latinism” (regarded coldlyby France) was never affirmed to anything like the extent of pan- .the expression of the nationalist and autochthonist basis of the poet’s ideology. what their beginning was. His Dacia is imagined as a primordial.of a national mythology. the conclusion being that the Dacians did not despise the art of smoking. The stress would always fall on either the first or the second term of the expression. the mission of the Romanians. everything is invested with meaning.e the &mans. Published in 1880. and finally. and another timeheidentified “prehistoric pipes”. of anideal of regressionandthe nostalga of begmningsstill under thesign of thegoldenage. What interests us here is not the real value of the research of this enthusiastic dilettante. generally in texts which remained in manuscript. whichhad hitherto been hidden in Romanian consciousnessby the brilliance of the Romans. what their beliefs were. he undertook countless journeys on the Danube and to the hills and mountainsin order to answer these questions. is above all to define what the Dacians were. The Dacians are invoked repeatedly in the verses of Mihai Eminescu. such as the poems Memento Mon’ aind Samis.” It was the Dacians who aroused in Bolliac the passion for field research.92 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS to hide his enthusiasm at the antiquity and achievements of Dacian civilization. Who was greater: Trajan or Decebalus? In which of them do we primarily recognize ourselves? Such questions may seem puerile. which was to produce echo an in nationalism the and autochthonism of later generations. “Our mission. Pipes b a Man Wbo Does Not Smoke. in various stages of completion. The Latin idea remained very present in Romanian society. Etymology and archaeology were joined by poetry. One sentence is worth repeating: “Our nobility is as old as the soil. expressive. like his other incursions into thepast.”*2 Over two decades. Around this time. It was a formula which seemed closer to the truth but which in factturned out tobemorefragile and unstable than the exclusiveaffirmation of one or other of the component elements. historical world. there took place an essential reworking of the question of origms. though not yet sufficiently crystallized. There isin theseverses the starting point.This made him the objectof Odobescu’s irony in Archaeological Smoke y Concocted jiim Pnhistoni.13 Dacia was also the subject of a doctoral thesis. what they borrowed from the Romansandwhat theRomansborrowed from them. but in mythology nothing is puerile.Dan’a bef0f. from 1860 to 1880. and the historical drama Decebaltls.what level of civilization they had reached when the Romans conquered them and took their country. it was the first synthesis in Romanian historiography concerned with the history and civilization of the Dacians. From Romans (first pure Romans. later “mixed” Romans) the Romanians became DaceRomans.On one occasion he thought hehaddiscoveredaDacianalphabet. in archaeology. great the national poetof the Romanians. Like Hasdeu. how they lived on with the Romans in their country.

. but more Roman than Dacian!l) Nicolae Iorga. as a population distinct from the Roman population and often actuallyhostiletotheempire. took place was not a simple process of Romanixaion. a Roman peqh (in contrast to the French. inhis numerous works of synthesis. He considers that the Romanian people was born “especially from the Roman colonists. The Romanian people is. as in France and Spain. t u r n s .. on a limited scale. The Dacians remained in the non-colonized parts. Talung account ofthe general prejudice in favor of the Romans. T h e . In a notably balanced presentation. affirmshis in turn the Daco-Roman hsion. who are Gallo-Romans. “so that the finest examplesof the Romanian raceof today do not come from the Dacian character but fro. Let us not therefore be offended if the blood of . Tocilescu observes that after the wars phenomenon that with the Romans Dacia was left ahost without inhabitants.’. in which various provinces took part (Italy to a lesser extent). The Roman element seems to have been largerthan that of the Dacians.untilthe end of Roman domination.”15 Other historians are more generous. for and in 1878Vasile Alecsandri was awarded a prize in Montpellierfor his Song ofthe Latin Race: “The Latin race is queen / Among the great races of the world [. he brings the indigenous and colonizing elements face to face.. was this not the fault of the Romanians. absorbed the remains of the Dacian population after the latter had been largely exterminated here in battle.Rom~’. The opinion that the Daco-Romans are to be seen more as Romanized Dacians is not confirmed by the historical sources. a signnot just of his own vanity but of the intensity of the Latin myth. for Xenopol. In his textbook on the history of the Romanians.Daco-RO. he feels the need to convince his readersthat there is no loss in being descended also from the Dacians: “[ . D. or forced to withdraw to the north and east. Dacians entered into the synthesis too. to favor the Romans. but a massive Roman colonirahon. and Ml of virtue. on a greater or smaller scale. The dominant discourse continued.” However.the DaciFs. essentially. w e .m~s.ar? . out.enduring. the colonization and Romanization were decisive and were on a greater scale than occurred in other provinces of the empire. on the conquered territory. as the Roman authors say.. The “Dacianist” Hasdeu called imperiously in 1869 a “pan-Latin congressin Paris”.” The poet puthis literary triumph and the glory recently wonby Romanian soldiers at Grivitsa on the same level. but within the broader framework of the whole of eastern Romanity and with an insistent underlining of . Xenopol assembles a number of proofs and arguments in support of Dacian continuity.to be mixed into our nationality. the first volume of which appeared in 1888. or the Spanish.ORIGINS 93 Germanism or pan-Slavism..who are Ibero-Romans). A. who. too. Among those who proved unwilling to grant the Dacians more than was absolutely necessary weevenfindthe author of Dana before tbe Romans.14 but Dimitrie Onciulexpressesasimilar point of view. in varying degrees. the historian recognizes. In his History of tbe Romanians in Dada Traiana.I.? the.I the root of the Romanian people is to be identified in the historical layers in two brancheswhichare both equallyenergetic.. only to disappear then in the wave of invaders.

that we find the most concentrated expression . ignored. entered rapidly and easily into the luminous and blessed dominion of the Latin folk”. Roman symbols.andabove all theface of Trajanhimself. will preside over his whole army. with his gray hair and his prophetic gesture. but in general Trajan is preferred. The man is of course Roman. Decebalus’s image was not to appear at all. By this time the major role of the Dacians in the Romanian synthesis wasrecognized(and. O n the occasion of the inauguration of the Romanian Athenaeum in February 1888.sometimesevenexaggerated). he considered. [. The process then continued in Roman Dacia. however. where thenumber of Dacians who remained “in the midst of the other Romanized Thracians was not very great. the Athenaeum thus symbolized the Roman origin those who had erected it. the distinguished archaeologist proposed that a bas-relief should be placed on the fagade representing “the Transfiguration which took place here in of the Dacian Romaniawhen. In order for the Romanian-Roman connection to be even clearer. long remained dominant. it is illustrated by the idyll of a Dacim woman and a Roman legonary.Andyet.at least for The the initial phase of the Romanization of the Balkans.” The Thraco-Illyrian mass of farmers and shepherds could only be de-nationalized as a result of a massive emigrationof the Italian peasantry.94 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS substantial a demographic coming Italy current from even before the incorporation of the provinces in the Roman state. and 1913). by the painterCostin Petrescu. to whom we.intheyears1933to1937. the founding scene presented by Costin Petrescu completely ignores Decebalus. faithful to a persistent tradition. both our life and our faith. from under theharshanddarkoverlordship Decebalus.as weshallsee. Decebalus may stand beside him. Fmm the Hixtoty of Romania (editions published in 1906.. We see only the victorious Trajan contemplating the Dacian disaster. even towards the pure Italian element. AlexandruOdobescu gave an erudite lecture in which heset out to underlinetherelationshipbetweenthenewbuilding in Bucharest and circularof domed Roman buildings. like the sun at n0011. our land. owe both our birth and our name. on the other hand. here. “A people”. defining the founding moment par excellence as that of the conquest of Dacia by the Romans. “does not come to speak another language unless a large number of people come over itwho speakthatlanguageandhavesimilaractivities to its OWTI. a more representative symbolic figure than Decebalus. then the Daco-Roman wars and the triumphof Rome. The mixedorigin of theRomanian people is not..1~ balance was thus tilted towards the Romans and. the “noble and gentle figure of the emperor Trajan. He will shine in this place.’’18 The fresco which Odobescu sketched out as an ideal project would be made realityhalfacenturylater. 1908. Apoliodorus of Damascus likewise appears. in that the bridge which he built unitedDaciawiththerest of theempire. through its happy conquest by Trajan. for the folk had suffered much in previous year~”.I He. The fresco in the great circular hall was to present first of all the barbarism of prehistoric times.19 It is Dimitrie in Onciul’s synthesis. it is he who will give the offspring their name andlegitimacy.

The role of the Romans is not diminished as that of the Dacians is affirmed. The work has only two illustrations. k n g Carol. with inscriptions such as: “Fathers of the Romanian folk. makes ancient Dacia equivalent to united Romania.”2* “A nation conscious of itself’: the formula is . They now appeared as a numerous and powerful people. conscious of itself. a historian respected for the solidity of his documentation (both literary and archaeological) and considered to be unassailable from a methodological point of view. The linking of these two founding moments. established the Dacian factor in a position from which. “the founder of the Romanian people”. The autochthonist wave after 1900. For all that. they be more or less. The work of Pirvan. influenced at first by the forms of Celtic civilization.much hrther even. Between their barbarian monarchy and the Roman imperial insignia the choice was self-evident.P8rvanpresents a long process of Westernization. The king of Romania and the Roman emperor are represented together on a number of plaques and medallions. The political leaders of 1900 were certainly less inclined to admire Decebalus than the revolutionaries of 1848 had been. scattered loosely over an extended territory with a complete lack of political and national cohesion. the ground won back by the Dacians continued to be consolidated.”20 As well as nobility of blood. amplified in the interwar period. This was no mereagglomeration of a number of savage‘tribeswith a shifting population. “the founderof the Romanian kingdom”. Pik~an himself sums up the essential features of the Dacian space at the moment of the Roman conquest as follows: “First of all.ORIGINS 95 of the Romanian pantheon. of While could accepted. the forgers of a remarkablecivilization. The first shows the emperor Trajan. the Dacians couldnot offer the kingdom of Romania a sufficiently attractive political symbol. was Dacia a great kingdom based on a solid and homogeneous ethnic foundation: its historicd traditions were already old. was here a nation. its social and economic structure was well marked. organized.. and. and it possessed an advanced culture. It was possible to go further than the conclusions of the greatarchaeologist. WehaveseenhowVasile Pirvan it sketched an image of Dacian civilization remarkably similar to the image (as was perceived at the time) of traditional Romanian civilization. beginning long before the conquest of Dacia. but none of the ground won for the Dacians would henceforth be given up. had for two centuries before Trajan felt the impress of the Roman. ethnic and political. which.anticipation of Romanian national consciousness. practically speaking. as a population that had undergone Romanization. directly or indirectlyfavoredDacian roots. suchas the Romans had found in Dalmatia or Thrace or Pannonia or Moesia. 106-19061866. it could not be dislodged. . the period marked by the jubilee of 1906. and alone among the Thracian peoples in being the founders of a state. in context the of 1926. of “pre-Romanization” we might say. powerful. Trajan also symbolized political project: the a imperial glory of Rome re-actualized in the reign Carol I. appears insistently in the climactic phase of Carol 1’s reign. Here was a worthy rival even for Rome. and the second.

and pre-Roman Dacia.. The RomaninfusionhadattachedtheDacianspace to an indisputable center of the world: Rome.theRoman element was dominant. byhis genius. the major preoccupation of Romanian nationalism. Autochthonist nationalism returned to the theme of the purity of the race.] The solidarity of interest of pre-Roman Dacia was remade: the Dacians of greater Dacia contributed with their race to the preservation of what the Romans in Roman Dacia had created with their culture. 1935). bothDacianand Roman. somewhat inevitably given the logic of nationalism. gradually received the Roman form of life. C. not weakened. having first been pure Romans. and the emigrations of t-ibes which. we believe the that population that remained was considerable in number and constituted the rnqiorz’ty of the inhabitants of the new province. and the text appeared in Convorbz‘riLiteran. [. but also Muntenia and Moldavia. which has been in all ages on the margin of the great units of civilization. and modem Romania appear as historical entities which can be perfectly superimposed and which echo eachother across the millennia. Odobescu’s disciple and future professor at the University of Iagi. not Latin. through connections of etlmicity and interest with Roman Dacia on the one hand and Getic Moesia on the other. a periodical oriented towards . The next move. and later Daco-Romans. an eternal Dacia outside time.infixingtheDaco-Romansynthesisin a perfect balance. The Romaniansare. in the Histoy oftbe Romanians by C. published an essay entitled ‘Dacia:The PrimitiveFatherland of the Aryan Peoples”.with a thinnedindigenous population and in conditions of massivecolonization. Giurescu (first volume.I Romanism was victonow in Dana because it won over the natives. Now the center was simply to be in Dacia.. The process of Romanization was also felt in the rest of Decebalus’s Dacia..96 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS He believes that intheRomanprovince of Dacia. then Romans moreor less mixed. In 1894 the archaeologist Teohari Antonescu (1866-1910). only this time the purity was to be Dacian. the “biological” weighting of the Dacians in the formation of the Romanian people is affirmed even more strongly.. Dacia of the Roman period (whether included or not in the empire). has been.”23 The Romanians could thus be defined as Rornanixed Danans. around whichtherest of humanitywouldgravitate.”22 Pirvan succeeded. unwilling to submit to the empire.wastobetheexclusion of theRomans from theRomanian mixture. just like the first nationalists. The author was a Junimist. and still is. We may observe that the shift to the center of a peripheral space. “Not only the Banat and Oltenia. [. THE DACIANS THEIR O N BACK GET W But things did not stop here. theparts that were not annexed by theRomansand continued to be inhabited by Dacians.tothehighestdegree. withdrew into the northern mountains. The concept of center emerged from this about-turn consolidated. A decade later. and they endup by becoming a majority even ill Roman Dacia: “For all the losses they had suffered in battle.

In his passion for the question of origrns he left Hasdeu far behind. It was from here. in a way that recalls Hasdeu’s method. the Romanians are a pure race. very far back. under two great rulers. C. Egypt and North Africa. in which he attributed to the c‘revolution’7 question the aim of founding a “Romanian political system”. an immense work of 1. Vasile P2rvan regarded it as a “fantasy novel”. the expression of the strongest dose of the imaginary in Romanian historiography. Antonescu actually did no more than find a new fatherland for die Aryans. professor at the University of Bucharest. I.000 B. Among the arguments put forward by Densugianu we also find a reference to the representations on Trajan’s Column. an erudite historian and fiery nationalist. He made himself noticed by a work which was appreciated at the time. Densugianu reconstructed the history of a supposed “Pelasgian Empire”. which are the result of a mixing process. it is. a Transylvanian settled in Bucharest since 1878. and their language owes . certainly the greatest that ever existed. Uranus and Saturn. if not at the time of its pubiication. Horea“s Revolzihoz (1884). the descendants of the ancient inhabitants of this land. and much of Asia. The result was Pnbistoni. proof that they could understand each other very well.200 pages. who had already been trailed by their researchers and admirers all over Asia and Europe. Dana. when the securely installed principles of the critical school left little room for alternative theories. on top of all that. where Dacians and Romans engage in dialogue without interpreters. It was from here that the ancestors of the Romans set out for Italy. between the Danube and the Carpathians. linguistics and mythology. from begrnnings in Dacia around 6. which. Tstrati (himself a fascinating character: doctor and chemist. conservative politician. Dacia now became the starting point of a brilliant history. and. spiritist!). at any rate. His method. then certainly in the later manifestations of Dacianist autochthonism. believing that he could truly arrive at the earliest beginnings. starting from linguistic material. This prehistoric equivalent of Romania had united around itself a universal empire. But the great discoverer of a world with its center fixed in Dacia was Nicolae Densugianu (1846-1911). each speaking their own language! Thus in contrast to the other Romance peoples. that civilization poured forth through the other parts of the world. It was also a truly influential book. which appeared posthumously in 1913 through the efforts of an admirer.C. the Mediterranean. in extending its rule over Europe. . which he combined at will. at least from time to time. which indeed explains the lack of “Dacian” inscriptions in Roman Dacia: the two peoples were of the same speech.ORIGINS 97 the critique of nationalist phantasms but sufficiently open and tolerant to accept any origrnal contribution.. brought into play elements of archaeology and folklore. tempered the fantasies of the author of the Cnh‘cal Histoy. basically Hasdeian but without the professionalism that. allegedly succeeded. By way of a chain of deductions. But in for Densugiam the ‘Romanian political system” and the history of the Romanians in general could be traced far back. Dacian and Latin are only dialects of the same language.

Romanization did not go from the West to the East. r o y D a h and of the of Ancient Citxikxati0n. who prefaced PrehistovicDacia with a long text about the life and works of its author.theintuition of the nonspecialistevenbecame a virtue. who published in 1932 Fromthe P ~ h i . Mircea Eliade called a “new dilettantism”. who had moldedhistory into its first forms? In the interwar period Densugianu’s thesis was taken up and developed by a number of amateur historians. Istrati. One of them was General Nicolae Portocali.The enthusiastic military man broadly follows Densugianuand is harshly critical of Piirvan. whose knowledge of Latin may have been limited to military commands?” And how could the half who lived in territory unoccupied by the Romans be Romanized? The conclusion could onlybe that theDacianshad always spoken“arusticLatinlanguage”. but from the East to the West.andespeciallyintheBucegi mountains”. the origrnal and “patriotic” resolution of this question. time This also explains its differences from the western Romance languages.I which were planned and enacted around theCarpathians.center of the world. the Bucegi. re-actualized on the occasion of a visit to Peleg. but the Romanian peasants. It was not the scholars who were right. center of Dacia. King Carol I appeared to Istrati as ‘‘a new Uranus and Saturn”l24 What was Trajan beside these emperors of the earliest times.r.to go beyondrationalismwas a fundamental desideratum of the nationalist Right. became a great admirer of the . The conviction that the Romanian language is nothing other than ancient Dacian took hold of the writer Briitescu-Voinegti. Marin BQrbulescu. published in 1936. whose name was Portocalii was followed by a certain suggestively extended to Birbulescu-Dacu.Dacia. before and during the Second World War. for a time.25 The dilettantes were not slowtocomeforward. C. closes his enthusiastic evocation wid1 a remarkable parallel: he finds the “times of unknown glory [. for on the basis of the observation that “dilettantes have always had a feeling for history and understood it”.” Romanian is not “messed up” Latin: Latin and its descendants are “messed up” Romanian!26 What the Roman conquest actually did was destroya flourishing civilization and remove the Romanians from history for a thousatld years.tobeeliminating.. and Peleg in the heart of the Bucegi: here is a symbol that is both cosmic and political at the same time. author of Tbe Dac+Tbraaan Origin oftbe Romanian kngzrage. The increasingly violent clash of ideologies and the affirmation of the autochthonist spirit offered them a space for maneuver which the professionalization of history had seemed. In theeyes of some. with theirsaying:“ItaliansspeakRomaniantoo. having transmitted been from immemorial. accusing the great promoter of Dacian civilization of an abusiveinsistence on foreigninfluences! Themost remarkable part of his demonstration concerns the impossibility of the Dacians being Romanized. the deeper meanings and the great synthesis are more accessible to them than to the professional. even today they still makea point of glory out o f .intoxicatedwithnationalism. who. but messed up. Who was to Romanize them? “Foreign and uncultivated legionaries. Their favorite battleground became the question of origins.98 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS nothing to Latin.. I.

ORIGINS 99 solutions and mythologies of theextremeRight. Also invoked towards this end is the cult of Zalmoxis. Furthermore.richasitisin ancientsthemselvesdevelopedthemyth of Zalmoxis. it was he. and Pohical W&ingf he edited in 1937.whichwassubsequently taken over and amplified in Romanian culture. Eliade himself a great promoter of the Dacian layer. language of the Geto-Dacians. This of course. Zalmoxis offers a remarkable model of mythological logic. in 1921. They donot deny linguistic Latinity. the play Zamoke. either in the pre-Roman period (figurative representations are. “Latinwas the literary form of the it reachedFrance. The starting point. and with time French.”27 According to Briitescu-Voinegtitheseareaxiomswhich no longerrequire demonstration. any incase. Gradually. not the approach of the professionals. whose U e r a y . is a succinct and obscure passage in Herodotus (who also provides the information.not the Roman pantheon.inwhichthe GetoDacians allegedlyforeshadowedtheChristianreligion. the connection is made to the Dacian supreme god. those few linesof Herodotus became a whole library. not Romans or even Daco-Romans. It was on thisfragileaxis that the Dacia. He also . that Zalmoxis was a slave of Pythagoras). This was was certainly what attracted him toB. even attracted those towards same the Dacian horizon. let those who maintain the contrarydo the demonstrating! And so. in which the Dacian space appears as “a means of capitalizing on theethicalandmetaphysicalvalues of existence”. too. so that theywere more prepared than other peoples to receive it. ‘We are not neo-Latins. ‘(TheOthers” speak a language similar to ours. the French and all the rest come from the Bucegil The Dacianism of the amateurs denied (and still denies) what is evident-the Romance character of the Romanian language-for the sake of a fictive Dacian language similar to Latin. but proto-Latins”. Since the Romanian nation is in the first place Orthodox Christian. no more characteristic of the “oral” civilization of the Dacians than is writing) or in Roman all sorts of divinities.28 Lucian Blaga noted the “revolt of the autochthonous layer”. The Romans are. he wrote in The Origin gthe Romanian Folk and ofour Language (1942. Biologically and spirituallytheRomaniansareDacians. I?. we do not originate from “Rim”: the Romans. is. to quote Mircea Eliade. Hasdeu. Zalmoxis never appears in representations of any kind.when became first the language of the Gauls. evidently passed over by nationalist exegetes.but consider that the essential lies deeper than the Roman crust. It is hard to say to what extent these lines tell us of the authentic religion of the Getae and howfar they are simplytheprojection into theGeticspace of Pythagorean doctrine. In his introduction to this collection he insisted on a general orientation-anticipated by Hasdeu-towards appreciation of the value of autochthonous rootsandreduction of thesignificance of borrowings. simply because thy are descended from our ancestors. who published. in fact the only certain starting point. like the Romanians. The samelanguage. new edition 1943). the descendants of the Thraco-Geto-Dacians. Moral. especially in the interwar period and in right-wing circles.



cites Camille Jullian, who had demonstrated, in the case of Gaul, “that the muchpraised Roman civilization was no more than a brutal militarism, which destroyed the beginnings of a promising culture”. Unamuno’s “desolidarizing” of Spanish thinking from Latinity went in thesamedirection. ‘Today”, concludesEliade, “the fascination the with Dacians beyond goes scholarly interest; everything encourages us to believe that the thirst for the ‘originary’ and local’ will deepen in Romanian spirituality.”29 In 1943 in Madrid Eliade published in Spanish a synthesis of the history of the Romanians: Los Rzlmanos. Bnnano bistdni.0. The first chapter of the book was given the suggestive title “Under the Sign of Zalmoxis”. Where origins are concerned, the author distinguished between Romanization Romanization. and... The phenomenon followed a different course in Dacia than in Spain and Gaul. ‘Were, unlike in other regions, the Romanization did not mean a radical change of the autochthonous ethnic substance. The DacianlearnedtospeakLatin, buthe preserved his customs, his way of lifeandancestralvirtues. The newtowns worshipped the gods of the empire, but in vilIages and in the mountains the cult of Zalmoxis perpetuated, even if, later on, under a different name. That is why, when the first Christian missionaries arrived to bring the new faith to the DacoRomans, the latter embraced Christianity at once before and others did so: Zalmoxis had paved the way for the new faith for centuries.”30 We need hardly state that none of these affirmations have the slightest documentary basis. For the Legionaries, Zalmoxishad a special appeal. Their foundation myth was the Dacian myth. Indeed, P. P. Panaitescu, who had become, in the autumn of 1940, one of the leading personalities of the Legionary regime, put it in so many words in the text quoted in Chapter One, which begins: ‘We are DaciansY-an assertion made on the basis of “race” and “ b l ~ ~ d ? Ethnic purity-whetherintheLatin or theDacianversion-belongs to a traditional tendency in Romanian culture, but the stronger accent put on race and blood cannot be separated from the context of 1940. At a time when the Nazis were claiming the superiority of the Germanic the race, exponents of the Romanian nationalist Right were shy of invoking a similar model. All the more not so as,betweentheGermanictribesandthecivilization of theDacians,the reference to earliest times might even to the Romanians’ advantage. be The years of theSecondWorldWar, a periodmarked by the trauma of territorial dismemberment the and hope of rebirth within restored or even enlarged borders, were marked byan instinctive appeal to Dacian permanence. Here are a few lines which appeared in the first issue (April 1941) of a literary journal with the symbolic titleDacia Rediuiva: “From far off there appears, shining, the eternalarchetype of Dacia. In its profile,which corresponds precisely to ourselves, we findagain our wholedimensions.”32Andin1945, a certain G. Ionescu-Nica tried to resolve the border issue by recourse to the same mythical space of ancient Dacia as a decisive argument for the perennial outline in which Romanian territory wasinscribed.33




The first phase of communism meant a retreat both for the Dacians and for the Romans. Daco-Roman origins were not actually contested, but the problem of origms as such no longer had the same importance as before. Communism had other foundation myths. Revolts and revolutions, the founding of the Communist Party, the Grivip strike and the liberating actionof 23 August 1944 became more significant points of reference than the remote Daco-Roman synthesis. Moreover, the class principle was set over and above the ethnic principle. The dividing line or between Daco-Romans did not so much run between Dacians and Romans and the others, as within Dacian and Roman society respectively. It was no longer possible to treat a certain ethnic element as a block. Under Burebista, and even moreunder Decebalus,theDacianstatehadbecome a slave state. With the Roman conquest, “the rich social layer in Dacia aligned itself with the Roman invaders”, according to Roller’s textbook. On the other side were “free but poor people, and especially slaves”.34 Social struggle was combined with the struggle for liberation from under Roman domination. The Dacians formed the great mass of the oppressed, just as the oppressing class was principally Roman (or Romanized). The model projected onto Dacia was that of liberation struggles in coloniesor in the “third world”, struggles supported by the Soviet Union and the “Socialist camp”, while the Romans came closely to resemble Western imperialists. Through perseverance in forcing the interpretation of sources, the class struggle took on unsuspected proportions, not least in the form of revolts combined with attacks bythefreeDacians.35 The file on the ‘latrones” is particularlysignificant and amusing. Lztmnes in simply Latin means brigands. A number of hnerary inscriptions from Dacia refer to the killing of inhabitants of the province by socalled htmnes. The monuments are erected inmemory of well-offpeople, and hence the ideatookshapethattheywerekilled not inthe course of common robbery, but asanexpression of classstruggle. The htmnes becameoutlaws, the avengers of the oppressed many. One historian went a step further and identified an actual institution of htmn’nia among the Dacians, a term translated as parzikafl stmgh?!36 Thus there was little thought given, in the 1950s, to the ethnic, Daco-Roman substratum of the Romanian synthesis. Of the two elements, however, the less favored were the Romans. They were consistently referred to as izvaders, and their departure from Dacia was as seen a dberatz’on. Even without an explicit formulation, the Romanians appeared to be rather the Romarized descendants of theDacians,identifiedlargelywiththeoppressedmass of the peopleof the Roman province. Beyond that it was not possible to insist. Denunciation of the Romans fitted in with the anti-imperialist and anti-Western project, but too much insistence on autochthonous rootswouldhavegiventhehistorical discourse a nationalist tinge, and this was not, of course, the desired goal. Nationalism wasto be combated just as much as Westernism. With this end in view a third element was added to the Dacians and Romans; further on we shall pause to consider the



development of the problem of origins in the “internationalist” ambience bme.

of the


The gradual shift from thehistoricalmythology of classstruggleto nationalist mythology was to restorethetraditionalfoundationmythtoits former status. Already in 1960 the first volume of the treatise Histoy $Romania proved to be much more conciliatory towards the Romans. The influx of Roman colonists and the process of Romanization are henceforth no longer automatically devalued by an insistence on the unjust character of the conquest. The Romans continue to be criticized-no good communist could agree the with annexation of foreign territory-but only up to a point, and with a compensatory underlining of the elements of progresswhichthey brought. TheCommunist Party’s Program of 1975, phrased in somewhat vague terms so as to please everybody, refers to the c cnegative aspects” of Roman rule, but alsothe to “new socioeconomic flourishing” in the period, emphasizing too that the Romanians appeared “from the blending of Dacians with Rornan~”.3~ All the same, the rehabilitation of the Romans did not go all the way, and in particular could not keep up with the relentless consolidation of autochthonous roots. Whether good or bad-generally bad at the begnning and good later onthey only represented one episode in a history that stretched over millennia. The nationalist ideology find could support here in a wealth of archaeological discoveries. In their own right, and quite apart from any ideological exploitation, these represented perhaps the most productive sector of historical research in the communist years. Archaeology was, however, stimulated precisely because it was through it that a solution could be sought to certain historical problems in the sense pursued by ideology. The Romanian past was thus considerably deepened, with the Dacians themselves supported by a much earlier history, from the Stone Age to Neolithic andBronze Age cultures.Howeversignificantthe“seal of Rome” might be, it could now only give a certain coloring, limited in time, to an independent history that had its own specific features and belonged to a specific space. If professional historians continued to pronounce-with inevitable nuances, of course-in C ~ V ur’he Daco-Roman synthesis, around the middle of the 1970s a O~ far from negligible current, made up of non-specialists but influential on a political level, took over the Dacianist thesis of Densugianu. The historical obsessions of the “extreme Right” on the eve of the Second World War werethus transferred to the “extremeLeft”,which says much about the common inclinations of the totalitarian phenomenon, especially where the nationalist variant communismis of concerned. The offensive was launched by the Institute of History of the Party, which,havingfalsifiedtherecenthistory of thecountry, turned withsimilar



intentions towards a history thousands of years old, offering it the competence of its specialists in the history of the working-class movement. In issue 4 (1976) of Anale de istoni, the journal of the above-mentioned Institute, there appeared a most remarkable article (unsigned) under the title “The Beginnings of the History of the Romanian Pe~ple’~-conceived a support to as those who had to teach and study the course on “Fundamental Problems of the History of the Nation and the l?arty7’.38This text claims, not as hypothesis but as fact, the pre-Romance or Latin character of the Thracians’ language. The demonstration, since we are offered a “demonstration”, is a telling illustration of what a lack of basic professionalism and a straightforward contempt for the truth can mean. The line followed is that of Densugianu’s work, which, from a “prehistoric fairy tale”, has become an “authorized source7y. the bibliography As nevertheless needed bringing up to date, there is a reference to the “French academician Louis Armand”, who apparently showed that “the Thraco-Dacians spoke a pre-Romance language”. If an academician says it, and a French one at that, then it must be true! The casual reader might be led to believe that the individual cited is a great historical and philological authority (we lay aside for the moment the elementary principle that appeal to authority cannot be admitted as a procedure in historical argument). In fact, Louis Armand was an engineerwho held senior positions in the French railways and nuclear energy industry! Returning to Densugianu, what the Party researchers retain from his tortuous presentation is the story, with all its humor, of the missing interpreters: “In support of this conclusion [the Latinity of the Dacian language] we have the bas-reliefs on Trajan’s Column. One of these shows a delegation of peasants discussing directly with Trajan, without interpreters, and when he replies it is similarly without interpreters.” This is the lowest point of the profession (since the authors had the status of “professionals”), the bottom limit reached by history under the communist dictatorship: a sign of the impertinent conviction that ultimately we can make what we want out of history. The elimination of the Romans from national history thus returned to the agenda (with or without a denial of Romanization). The Institute of History of the Party and the Center for Military History were at the forefront of this tendency. If Nicolae Ceaugescu continued, in his various historical invocations, to plead on behalf of Daco-Roman synthesis, his brother Ilie Ceaugescu lost no occasion to denounce the Roman invaders, even suggesting that the Romanian people had been formed before the Roman conquest. The period of Roman domination is judged harshly in the first volume of the Mibtmy Hi.rtoy cf the Romanian People (1984). Negative consequences of the conquest are pointed out, while the positive aspects are no longer mentioned. It is true that a “weaving together of Dacian and Roman civilization” is accepted, but it is carefully stressed, without fear of contradiction, that “the Dacian people successfully preserved its ethnic being”.39 There was no biological blending with the Romans, just the adoption of their language; at least the Latinity of the language was recognized!



The identification of theRomanianswiththeDaciansled to an insistent foregroundingof the originality and values of the civilization of the latter. Nothing could be more natural (in mythological terms): the Romans had no need of such an amplitjring operation, but the Dacians could only gain by retouchings and additions. Here agam, a notable role was played by historians of the category mentioned above, to whom must be added some authentic professionals, such as Ion HoraFiu Crigan, the author of a monographwhichenjoyedconsiderable publicity: Btirebista and his Age (1975, new edition 1977). Crigan’s method is not without interest: he first makes an apparently correct analysis of the sources, and then advances conclusions which have nothing to do with those sources. The use of writing by the Dacians thus appears, for Crigan and other authors, tobe a feature indicative of the high degree of evolution of Dacian civilization. It had become almost a political error to claim that the Dacians did not practice the art of writing, although in reality the sources do not demonstrate very convincingly that they did. But writing was not enough. By writing and other methods the Dacians must have expressed ideas of the highest possible level. The idea was launched that thehistory of Romanianphilosophy should beginwith Dacian philosophy. The essential references to the “philosophical preoccupations” of the Dacians are to be found in the sixth-century historian Jordanes, the author of a work on the Goths, whom he sought to elevate by assimilating them to the Getae, attributing to them, moreover, all sorts of intellectual aptitudes and curiosities. The fable-mongering of Jordanes or of his model Cassiodorus, who could not even distinguish Getae and Goths, can in no waybe considered a source for a history which they knew only in a vague and distorted form, unless we are going to accept anything as a source. Crigan, being a professional, does not hesitate to note theexaggerations of the before text, goingon todrawanunexpected conclusion-the necessity of “including in the history of Romanian philosophy a chapter dealingwiththephilosophy of the Daco-Getae, which ought to be researched and made the subject of a monograph”.40 It is an astounding statement. Granted, a few considerations might be possible, if we agree to be caught up in Jordanes’s game, but a monogr@h on the historyof Dacian philosophy, when we do not even have three words written Dacian! in There was a certain agitation, too,around the insoluble question of the Dacian language. Whether it was a “Latin” language or different from Latin, it demanded to be reconstituted and perhaps even established as a subject in the university curriculum. At one point it was suggested that a Department of Dacian Language should be set up in the University of Bucharest. I do not know whether it was intended that Dacian philosophy should be taught in Dacian; what is certain is that all these fine initiatives collapsed in the face of one unavoidable obstacle: the non-existence of the object of study. The enthusiasts keep marching on, however. For several decades a whole ‘(amateur movement” has been invading the territory of linguistics,imaginingfantasticetymologiescapable of restoring to us the language of our ancestors. This sort of “para-linguistics”withultra-nationalist accents seems to have become a veritable social phenomenon in Romania.

their with derivatives. The language we speak would thus have a perceptible Dacian coloring. what is significant the is identification of the Institute of History of the Party. a movement supported byall sorts of amateurs (evenalawyers’group!) but also by somelessthanscrupulousprofessionals (among them the archaeologists Dumitru Berciu and Ion Horafiu Crigan). Burebista. matters little who took the information from whom. could represent around 10 percent of thebasic word stock of the Romanian language. if not in the world. According to accounts in. which. tracli‘ it was possible. with the sort of approach practiced by Drggan. In the periodical Noi. for example. But even if we leave fable-mongering and irresponsible exaggerations to one side. A legionary in his youth.ORIGINS 105 More prudent. We should alsorecallinthesame context thefar from negligibleinfluence exercised by thescholarlyramblings of thehighlycontroversial businessman settled in Italy. As for the extent of the Thracians’ of Europe. thelatter by Trajanalone. to be on the way to becoming a matter of European renown. an organism invested scholarly with and ideological authority in communist Romania. thought fit to offer the Romanian people apologies-somewhat belated-for the conquest of Dacia by the Romans.the. It is interesting that the volume We. The dedicated specialist in this direction is I..havebeena numberof academicresearchprojects along the lines inaugurated by Hasdeu.000 years ag04*. on the present-day space of Romania. the author of TheLngHage Ofthe Tbram-Daaans (1959 and1967).The series of bustsdisplayedin Museum in Bucharest is telling in this respect. he was the leading figure ofan entire movement aimed at amplifying role the of the Thracians in European history.the press.am seems. Dacians outnumber Romans by three to one. the former being represented by Dromichetes. and Decebalus. I. He succeeded in identifying-although his findings are considered debatable by many 1inguists”rlo less than 160 words belonging the to Dacian substratum. to claim the ancestors of the that Romanians lived 100. Russu. traag that was launched in 1974. It seems that they have. centered. with . territory. Iosif Constantin Driigan. the Tbradam containsargumentsandwholepassages(forexample those referring to the “Latinity” of the Dacian language) identical to the formulations It which appeared almost simultaneouslyin Anah de ifton>. the identification of the Romaniaqs.n was later close to the Ceaqescu regime.characteristic a transition where Dacian mythology is concerned. but likewisepursuingthegoal of consolidating the Dacian heritage. in the end. Ibe Tbracians (1976) and editor of the periodical of the same title (Noi. Daci. is it clear that the Dacians ended have up by imposing themselvesin Romanian consciousness. As the author of We. Driigan generously allows almost them half evidently. won the war with front of the National Military the Romans. the anecdote is significant for the logic . We havecomea long way since the Athenaeum frescoes! Indeed. Dr5ga. Authenticor not. on a visit to Bucharest. the president of Italy. eloquent proof that the Romanian people is the oldest in the continent. Oscar Luigi Scalfaro.

It is worth noting that up to B. and in nineteenth-century historiography in general until quite late on. I have already mentioned Panu’s suggestions in this direction. and cultural links over some seven centuries. Slav words had come into the Romanian languagenot by ethnic contact but through political. the relationship between the Italian president and Trajan is just as mythical as any special relationship linking President Iliescu with Dromichetes or Decebalus. Hasdeu himself. AN OSCILLATING PRESENCE The ongoing match between Dacians the and the Romans was somewhat complicated by the additional involvement of the factor Slav (other ethnic elements. as an exercise in rising above national complexes. one-fifth Turkish. The almost simultaneous publication of the dictionaries of Laurian and Cihac illustrates the extremes between which the interpretation of theRomanianlanguage. P. THE SLAVS.did not prove to be an upholder of Slav influence. as well as on early Romanian institutions and culture. couldnot claimtohaveparticipatedinthe Romanim foundation story). according to the changing ideological and political conjuncture. the factor eliminated Slav was or drastically minimized. a paradoxical situation given the Slavonic packaging of medieval Romanian culture. The tendency iseasilyexplainedinthe context of the process of modernization of Romanian society and the desperate attempt (with partial and temporary success) to escape from the Slav space of the continent. In the Latinist phase. up to the time of Matei Basarab and Vasile Lupu. where the Slavs were concerned he strove to limit their impact on the Romanian synthesis. modern Romanian historians did not even know Slavonic or the various Slav languages. in a sense. In fact. While he sought to moderate Latinism by recourse to the Dacian substratum. The Slavs. had a significant influence on the Romanian language. Hasdeu. being less substantial and more rapidly assimilated by the Romanians.the Juninists of thelatenineteenthcenturyasareply to Latinism and. was the E@m~kgical Dictionary (1870-1879) of Alexandiu Cihac.In fact the appreciation of their role has also swung between extremes. a close associate of Junimea. who was educated in a Slav environment and who could beconsideredthefirstRomanianSlavicist.106 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS of historical mythology. religious. Hasdeu considered that the Romanian people had been fully formed when it entered into relations with the Slavs.42 The reaction towards rehabilitating the Slavs and Slavonic culture in Romanian historycamefrom. The etymologies established by Cihac led to the unexpected conclusion that the lexical base of the Romanian language w s more Slav (and of a other origins) than Latin: two-fifths Slav elements.and likewise one-fifth Latin. What caused a sensation. and of origins and influences in . however. Romanian became a mixed language which Turkisms and words in of Latin origm had about the same weight. as is well known.

agreater number of Slavelements”. in circulation. and later i The Hhory ofthe Romanians in Dacia I . the Slavs became a constitzlent elkment of the Romanian synthesis:“The influence of the Slav element in the formation of our nation is so evident that wemaysay without exaggeration that we cannot even speak of a Romanian people before the absorption of Slav elements by the native Roman population in the course of the sixth to tenth centuries. evolving the was (with necessary observation that Cihac’s is work appreciated by specialists as being far superior to Laurian’s linguistic fantasies).ignoring of the Slav factor.adopted either directly. however-that is. this is the period in which many Slav elements culture and political of organization penetrated Romanian society. and even in “the day-to-day business of the Romanians” untd the sixteenth or seventeenth century. general. The Slavoniclanguagewasusedin the church and the state. Ioan Bogdan represented the most advanced point reached in the affirmation . This etymological Gordian knot was cut by Hasdeu with his seductive theory not of the dmhtion of words. but no sentence is possible using exclusively words of other origins.the Bulgarian tsardom ruled north of the Danube. preserved only in dictionaries. . in its most organic movement-they lose out almost completely comparison Latinisms. Their value is thus very different. under the protective wings of an organized and powerhl state. To alarge extent theSlavinfluence was thus Bulgarian influence.he allowed a considerable weight the Slav influenceand believed. that of Byzantium. the Bulgarians.ist . or through political and literary contacts. Xenopol did not go as far as Bogdan. “It is true that Slavisms and even Turkisms exist in no small numbers among the Romanians.”44 In theRomanianlanguagethereare “an enormous numberof Slav elemet~ts”.46 For three centuries.of Slav influence prior to the advent of coGun.45 RomanianBulgarian relations in particular are treated by Ioan Bogdan in a manner which Romanian nationalism could not fail. His contemporaries and historians of the next generation had varying points of view on the issue. Hasdeu’s demonstration turned the relationship round again. While we.“whocamelikebarbarians over us. but there was no return to the denial or. of the old Roman civilization”. For him. The structure of a language-Hasdeushows-is gwen by the mere number of words but by their circulation. “were departing more and more from Roman culture and becoming savage”. in the most vital activity of Romanian speech. while others are in constant use.. tookfrom their Byzantine neighbors. to find. D.” in with It is possibleto formulate complete sentences only with words of Latin origin. a civilization which was then advanced. like Bogdan. which was none other than the continuation.43 on The Slav factor. and in the life of the state ‘(almost all our old institutions are either of Slav origin or contain. Even iftheformer Junimist A. disagreeable. the Romanians. away from the emphasis Slav influence. .h. Some words are almost forgotten. that to the Bulgarian state also ruled over Romanian territories (a point of view which he n formulated in The Theory of Roesler. alongside a few elements inherited from theRomans. in a Greek form with oriental influences.ORIGINS 107 .was forcefidly highlighted by Ioan Bogdan. however.istorjography. through cohabitation.

which took Ioan Bogdan as a model. P.49 the The key moment in the integration of the Romanians in the Slav space was. either quantitatively or qualitatively. social. Giurescu underlines that “the influence of the Slavsis greater thantheinfluenceexercised by the Germanic peoples on the lanpyages of the Gallo-Romans or the Italians”. certain institutions. In other words. However. must be in seen the context of Romanian-RussianandRomanian-Bulgarianrelationsintheinterwarperiod. among other things. He accepts. Bogdan’s claim that we cannot speak of a Romanian people prior to its mixing with the Slavs: “This claim must be understood as meaning that the Romanian people acquired its full composition. In Roller’s textbook there is no reference to the Latin originof any word. the Dacians and Romans remained in their founding position. though evoked with no enthusiasm. but more for secondaryideasand for articles of trade bought from markets on the right bank of the Danube: where principle ideas are concerned we can expressourselvescompletely in wordswhichcome from theold Roman inheritance. and cultural life”. Panaitescu (in his article “The Problem of Origins of the Boyar Class’3. He did not accept Bulgar domination north of the Danubeand tendedtoplacelimits on the extent of theinfluencewhich resulted from RomanianSlav cohabitation: ‘<Fromallthelife of the Slavs who were in these parts there have remained only many words that have entered our language. Panaitescuinsisted on the many elements Slav that had penetrated Romanian language. Giurescuand P. political and organization.Slavinfluencewasemphasizedasmuchaspossible. we are not dealing with e p a l parts. “The Slavs”. “came to Dacia as conquerors. thesis encountered in several authors. insists Giurescu. only after the Slav element had been added to the essential Daco-Roman element.though their of conclusions tendedto be moremoderatethanthose of Bogdanhimself. of course. is also added to the Slav penetration. was critical of Iorga for. and the greater accent must still fall on the former two elements”48 A conflictual which note.” And they showed even more brutality than the Germanic peoples or the Huns. now the Kievan state moves into the foreground. while close to Bogdan in other respects. All the same. The conquestalso explains the Slav ongin oftbe Romuniun byur C ~ J J -a . its complete ethnic characteristics. As we have seen.C. while still considering them as secondary additions to the Daco-Roman base.50 . but tens of Slavonic words are mentioned.108 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS Traiana).C. its with essential role in the formation of the Romanian states “lying at the base of the Romanian-Russian relations which have developed overthe centuries”. demonstrating a powerful influence “in al l branches of oureconomic. but with nuances. was far more Latinist in his unraveling of Romanian origins. and that is all. Iorga. underestimating the extent Slav influence. the pro-Soviet phase of Romanian communism. Then they left have behind certain elements of folk mythology. but systematized by P. culture. accent If the had previously been on the southern Slavs (the Bulgarians).”47 The “New School”. political. P. military. asfar as language is concerned. which is the fottndation.

thestrugglesoftheKievanstateagainstthereactionary citadel then represented by Byzantium. the pobticaljzmdation tended to become purely and simply Slav.The distribution of influences is worth noting: Russia first of all. The strategy was simple: it comprised the pushing back in time of the “moment” when the Romanian people was formed. which Stalin had coveted at one time. The tenth century-proposed by Ioan Bogdan. and the subsequent inclusion of partoftheterritoryof our countrywithinthefeudalstate of Kiev contributed to the development of feudalrelationsandhastenedthe processoffeudalorganization in ourcountry.centy-es. . This influence the of southern Slavs completed of eastern that the Slavs. The existence our in the vicinity of our country of thepowerhl feudal state of Kiev. What was sought in the phase of national communism was not only the lessening of Slav influences. accepted by the interwar generation. which preceded it and again followed it intheeleventhandtwelfth. Without for a moment losing sight of the existence f the Romanized o native population (Daco-Roman).ORIGINS 109 The directives issued by Mihail Roller in 1952 concerning the orientation of historical research express eloquently what was being prepared: the fkion of the history of theRomanianswiththat of the Slavs. then Bulgaria in second place.. Slav elements had to have been adoptedby a Romanian peopleaha4formed. Without entering into the details this issue-in which there are of differences of accent from one author to another-we may note that in general the political distancing from the Slavs was translated into thejr exclusion from the ethnic composition of the Romanians. and of theeasternSlavsin particular.formation of the eastern Slavsalso took place partiallyor not at all on part of the territory of country should be studied[.Theextensionofthe Bulgarian feudal state of the ninth and tenth centu.. adopted with a slight shift back to the end of the ninth century in the 1960 Histoy ofthe Romamkm and again i Constantin Daicoviciu’s compendium of n the same title of 1969-meant accepting that the Slavs were a .whenpart of the territory ofour country was includedin the meqate of H a l i ~ h . albeit in a secondary role to the Daco-Romans. which cast reflected light throughout the east ofEurope. but even more their placing beyond the thresholdof the formation of the Romanian people. the problem of whether the process of. with its advanced civilization.founding element. or atleast crystallized in its essential structures. The orientation of communism towards national -valu~s to an ebbing of led Slav influences.I. ~ ~ If ethnically and linguistically the Romanians remained basically Daco-Romans (but with notable Slav influences). while Byzantium appears as “reactionary” (Greece. had ended up in the Western sphere). and that without their assimilation there could be no talk of a “Romanian people”.ries over the territory of our country is an indisputable and fact contributed to the development of the country.

to date the formation of a people-a phenomenon even more complex and harder to define than the formation of the respective language (since presupposescertain it a cultural community and self-consciousness)?WhenweretheFrench. The Roman essence of theRomanianlanguage. an idea Ceaugescu to the Romanians’ antiquity enthusiastically pickedup by Ilie Ceaugescu and theauthors of the Mktary Histoy. when for the period under discussion and even for many centuries later we do not have a single sample of Romanian or “proto-Romanian”?Is it possible. but simplyin a reference by of more than 2. and apmto-Romaniak language. problem is formulated in strictly mythological terms.000 years to the time when the Dacian people adopted the Latin language and Latinspirituality”..Romans. and the requirements of communism were first of all the formation of the Romanian people alongside the Slavs.Insistence onautochthonous roots puts a value in the first place on the biological stock of origins. The answer is that I have no answer. with the role of theSlavs(not to mention other contributions) being proclaimed insignificant. and later its removal from the sphere of Slav influence. Particularly amusing an from arithmetical point of view is the claim that “the Romanian people dates back over 2. THE NATION: BIOLOGICAL ORGANISM OR SOCIAL COMMUNITY? Readers may wonder whatmy own opinion is concerning the relative weighting of the various elements composing the Romanian people. or theEnglish “formed”?The exceptionalinsistence of Romanian historiography on this question-which has been given the scholarly designation “ethnogenesis””4s national a particularity. What is meant by proto-Romanians? What is meant by a people formed or approximately formed? On thebasis of what argumentscould one claim that around theyear 600 peoplespoke pvto-Ronzanian. in general. some 120 years before the conquest of Dacia by the Romans! The explanatioll of the cccalculation’’does not lieinanynewtheory about Romanization. Byway of response I could only align myself with one or other of the foundation myths in circulation.C. put in a the suchway. for the simple reason that. The Romanians areRomanians. But where is this manifested? In blood? In genes? Is there such a thing as Romanian blood? Is there a gene that is specifically Romanian. not Dacians.theItalians. periodization Any of this sort responds to ideological requirements.000 (to say nothing of “over”) from 1984. or Dacian.if not long before. starting from thesixthcentury. we arrive at the year 16 B.aswellastheveryname Romh .) Subtracting 2. The record agam goes to the Miktary Histoy ofthe Romaniafi People.52(Inpassingwemightaskhowit is possible to adopt a spirituality. in which the Romanians are already Romanians in the year271.the Germans.000 years. or Slavs. on thebasis of political calculations that were presented as the fruit of objective research. or Daco-Roman? The only indisputable connection to origins is ultimately that offered by the language.110 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS Historians proceeded to identifypmto-Romanians. the year in which the volume appeared.

That allthisbelongs to therealm of the historical and political imaginary does not mean that it is without significance: quite the contrary. let us say. But itis a very long way fromthis to theclaim that we areactually more Romans than anything else. These ancestors belonged to “traditional”civilizationswith a completely different register of mentalitiesandbehaviorthanwehave in our predominantly technological urban and world. perhaps in the end.” A nation is not a biological organism but a socirll orgatzimz. but by its imapary actualization the past becomes a great force in thepresent. whom do the Romanians most resemble? The Dacians? TheRomans? The Slavs? Or the peoples of contemporary Europe? An Arab proverb quoted by MarcBlochsays that “People resemble their time more than they resemble their parents.historians the of the Transylvanian School were closer to a certain truth (at least to the only truth that can be demonstrated) than the promoters ofDacianism. Whatever backwardness they may accumulated. How much did the Romanians of the Middle Ages have in common withDaciansandRomans? Did theirSlavonic culture and Orthodox religion not bring themmuchcloserto ByzantineSlav civilization? What. Every nation has its own. In strict reality we are separated from thedistant past. of originary foundation or successive foundations. by all that brings us close to our fellow humans in general. inmythologicalterms. although not in the way that they believed.The Romanians will go on evoking their historyof the earliest times.Otherwise. all we can produce are platitudes along the lines of: ‘We have inherited the courage of the Dacians and the rational spirit of the Romans . I am not at war with foundation myths. are We brought close to the Dacians and Romans.. of course. have the Romanians nevertheless present the spiritual profile of a people of the twentieth century. We live in the present but we relate to our origins. However different the Romanians may be from. the Germans. it does not present itself as a simple aggregate-of individuals (each with their multitude of ancestors) but as a cultural synthesis. for example. . is theprocess of actualization.”53 The saying can be applied equally well to individuals as to nations.when we turn to a more precise inventory. which it cultivates with care.ORIGINS 111 (Romanian). not in order to blow up thewholemechanism but topenetratethe logc of its operation. But what must be understood.. would tend to tilt the balance towards the Romans.regardless of time and space. they are far closer to the latter to@ than to their Dacian and Roman ancestors. is more important for defining the Romanians: Dacian o r i p or Orthodox religion? p e difficulty is resolved for those who see in Zalmoxis a ‘precursor of Christ!)Andnowadays. we have an indisputable identity but we valorize it through the identity of our ancestors. and it is normal that they should do so.

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Once aga.To the north of the Danube.tn we find ourselves confronting a situation which is peculiar in European historiography. on the present territory of Romania. This question is doubled aqd amplified by that of the . the result turns out to be the opposite of the starting point: Romania.there is a certaindisaccordbetweentheeffectiveprocess of Roman expansion andRomanization and the present ethnic configuration of Southeastern Europe. finally. According to the various divergent foreign and Romanian theses. kept aliveby the play of ideology and politics. Thenorthern half of the Balkan Peninsula formed part of the Empire for some eight centuries. completely outside the country wherethey now live. or in a region stretching far beyond the present geographical extent of the Romanian people to include a large part of Central and southeastern Europe. However. It is here that we come up agamst the famous issue of continuity. which.pace in which the Romanian people and lanppage were formed. The problem of continuity is nomorethantheextrememanifestation of amore general lack of clear knowledge concerning geographical the setting of the beginnings of the Romanian people. the province of Dacia belonged to the Empire for only 165 years.somewhere south of the Danube. First. the Romans effectively ruled only half of Dacia. very limited in some variants. Three principal factors lie behind this highly paradoxicalsituation. .CHAPTER THREE Continuity ”HE A HISTORIOGRAPHICAL PARADOX: AREAWHERE THEROMANIAN PEOPLE WAS FORMED An exceptionalinsistence on the“formation of thepeople”gives a particular character to Romanian historiography and historical consciousness. on the other hand. along with “ethnogenesis”. the successor of Rome in this part of Europe. while the un-annexed part of Dacia logically had no way of being Romanized at all. a period long enoughallow installation to the and consolidation of a thriving Roman life.lies to the north of the Danube and not to the south. the Romanians were formed either on a territory corresponding to modem Romania or in a limited zone within that space. Moreover. has contributed to the creation of a veritable “national obsession”. which may raise questions about the extent of Romanization there. or.

114 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS Second. It cannot tell us what language was spoken by the makers of objects from a particular century and a particular corner of present-day Romania. a tenet of the nationalist extreme of pure Dacianism. which was adopted by Romanian historiography as a whole around the middle of the nineteenth century. where it serves to ensure chronological primacy in Transylvania for the Magyars. invoked by Latinists obsessed with the nobility and purity of Romanian blood. given that all serious linguists consider Romanian to be a Romance language. The notion of the extermination of the Dacians. archaeology has proved capable of filling in the gaps. the archaeological material cannot taLk. . the “Romanian-Bulgarian Empire”. greatly complicating the variants. “The Romanians were united to the Bulgars from the time of the arrival of the latter”. the initial Romanian space included both Dacia and the area south of the Danube. similar arguments have been wed. founded by Petru and Asan. says Sincai. with Samuil. and the second RomanianBulgarian. by both immigrationists and Romanian nationalists. What argument could be better than the emptying of Dacia of its native population? Conversely. and especially the complete lack of internal written sources. only provided hrther arguments for the hypothesis that the Romanians and the Romanian language had expanded from outside the present space of Romania. the notion of the non-Romanization of the Dacians. is that ideological and political factors have intervened in the game. Yso that not only did the Bulgars fight the Greeks but in larger numbers and more often the Romanians fought them under die name of Bulgars. The denial of Romanian continuity and the bringing of the Romanians from south of the Danube obviously corresponded to Austro-Hungarian objectives in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. gwen the paucity of sources for the area north of the Danube during the millennium that separates the withdrawal of Roman rule in the year 271 from the founding of the Romanian states in the fourteenth century. their history in the centuries following the Aurelian withdrawal unfolds more in present-day Bulgaria than in Romania. who was Romanian. We now know that the territory of Dacia continued to be densely populated. Unfortunately. we can reconstruct the way of life of the people who lived here. Where some historical aspects are concerned. It continues to be a point of dogma in present-day Hungarian historiography. The same historical premises can justify one theory or its opposite.*The first Bidgarian tsardom was thus Bulgarian-Romanian. served the immigrationist thesis equally well. and Pechenegs. Kumans. The Romanians appear as the successors to the Romans in this part of Europe. the most varied hypotheses have free rein. However. As information about the territory north of the Danube is scanty. “kingship passed from the Bulgarians to the Romanians”. paradoxically. but by no means the least important. The last consideration.” In the year 963. NORTH AND SOUTH OF THE DANUBE: POSSIBLE COMPROMISE? A According to the Transylvanian School version.

Oltenia was. However. from theTemegiana mountains to the Olt. In contrast with this generous expansion of the initial Romanian space. and Moldavia. The “ethnographic map” of Romania from the third to the sixth century extends. and remains. Macedo-Romanian: n the dialect of the Aromanians of the Balkans.was to represent an important chapter in Romanian history down to the phase of communist historiography.CONTINUITY 115 Vlachs from south of the Danube. the nucleus of Romanian nationality. was the province with the lowest proportion of foreign elements. of course. Les Roztmainsan Myen Age). two dialects of the same language which are found nowadays at a great distance from each other. Thus. Muntenia. His tactic is to ~~ ~ * Daco-Romanian: the Romanian language as spoken i Romania itself. refers to the “Bulgarian-Romanian Kingdom” (the first tsardom) and the “Empire of the Romanians and the Bulgarians” (thesecond tsardom. We encounter another sort of territorial limitation with Xenopol. He also claims that the Romanians of the Balkans provided numerous emperors for Rome and Byzantium.Roesler iryoked thesimilaritiesbetweenDaco-Romanian and Macedo-Romanian speech . which lasted until the end the fourteenth century). It is certain that the nationalist Hasdeu was impressed by the “ethnic cleanness” of Oltenia. farfromthe Goths auld Gepids”. His aim w s a to dismantle. when it was destroyed by the Turks (he is referring.more“visible”thantheRomanity of former Dacia. “the Romanian nationality was born and developed in Oltenia. the demonstration of Roesler. andraisedtoitsapogee byIonigg. point by point. Laurian.2 For him.Hasdeu set out. to impose severe limits on it. Trans. who had published his Romanian Studies in 1871. likewise. as far as the Hateg Valley”.Xenopol’sresponseappearedin 1884 under the title The Tbeoy of Roeshr: Studies o f thePersistence of the Romanians in Dan‘a Traana (and i n French in 1885: Une higme histonqzte. where the presence of migrating Germans was attested. which. From Oltenia the Romanians spread into Transylvania. I<o@niceanu makes kingdom the of the Transdanubian Vlachs continue to the year 1394. in his Cn‘tl‘cal Histoy oftbe Romanians. The lack of Germanic elements in the Romanian language made him withdraw the Daco-Romans from the regions on either side of the Danube. to the Bulgarian tsardoms).accordingtoHasdeu.“fromSeverintoHateg. by a prolongedprocesswhichbeganinthesixthcenturyand continued until the fourteenth. Romanian the historians presented themselves as partisans of continuity. and the south Slav influence in the Romanianlanguage. out ofall the Romanian territories. Romanity south of the Danube wassimplymoreactive. The space in which the Romanian people and language were formed thus becomes even narrower than the frontiers of Roman Dacia. . In support of his thesis of the Transdanubian origin of theRomanians. of We may note that the shifting of the principal scene of Romanian history for several centuries from north to south of the Danube might suggest a scenario similarthat to maintained by the immigrationists. Hasdeu insists on the“Oltenians’force of expansion”.

the Romanians north of the Danube from the Macedo-Romanians. In a text which wasconceivedas a review of Xenopol’s bookbut whichdeveloped into a significant work in its own right. and second. who owetheirstrikingsimilaritiestothecircumstances of their having emerged from the mixture same of elements. Once the evolution of the Romanians south of the Danube is no longer accepted.116 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS concentrate on twoobjectives:first. The formation of the Romanian people and Romanian continuity are thus limited to Transylvania.toseparate. For severalcenturies“Romania” was part of Bulgaria. Hasdeu placedthe“cradle” of theRomanianpeoplewithin the bounds of Oltenia. and pushed them towards the mountains.too. the Romanians (realizing that the migrations were over?) came down to the foothills and plainsandfoundedthe two principalities. After the last wave of migration. In the age of migrations. l D. 1885). we areinvited to observe a complete overturning of Roesler’s arguments. As far as clarifjring the Slav influence is concerned-the other essential point of Xenopol’sdemonstration-here. into the area of Transylvania. Banat. he argues.in Convorbin’ herare. According to Onciul. The Romanic element is not found in Moesia but hrther south in the Balkan mountains.MoesiawasweaklyRomanizedin antiquity. so the Romanianscould not havebeenformedthere. the opposite solution remains: expansion of the Slavs from south to north of theriver.thisexplainstheremarkableunity of the Romanian language and theexistence of words of Hungarianorigin in thespeech of all Romanians. one of the fundamental monographs on the issue (“The Theory of Roeshr: Studies oftbe Persistence oftbe Romamalzs iz Dacia Traiana by A. Onciul went beyond these limitations. the with intention of bringing down the to ground the whole scaffolding constructed by Roesler. The pathways of nationalism are varied and sometimes unexpected. How would a Romanian nationalist today regard the limitation of Romanian continuity to Transylvania and the subordination of the first Romanians to the Bulgarian tsardom? And Xenopol yet pursued arguments his out of pure nationalism. he opted for the whole space of Roman Dacia: Oltenia. that of the Tatars. too. There is thus no direct linkbetweenthetwoRomancebranches of the East: “The Daco-Romanians and the Macedo-Romanians are two distinct peoples from their origin.Xenopolconsiders that the first Bulgarian tsardom extended over theentireterritory of today’sRomania. Xenopol expressedpreference his for another of the Romanian provinces: Transylvania. from theverybeginning. to explain the south Slav influence otherwise than by the Romanians having lived south of theriver.”3 In order to distance the Romanians further fromtheBalkansphere.AccordingtoXenopol. It also lies behind the “dismountings” of Negru VodQ in Wallachia and Dragog-Bogdan in Moldavia. the area in which the Romanian people was . Xenopol: A CriticalAppraisal”. and took place within the shelter of the Carpathian arc. the Romanians withdrew within the “fortress” of the Carpathians.HencetheSlavritein the Romanian Church and Slavonic political and cultural influence in general.Xenopolseparated them from the Danube. the and the western part of Transylvania.

Moesia. and conquerors (in the principalities). close to the immigrationists. We have seen that there was already a tradition in the national historiography of including Romanity south of the Danube in Romanian history. offering plausible answers to all the uncomfortable questions of . I would merely point out that the admigrationist thesis achieved a skillful combination of continuity and immigrationism. a powerfid focus of Romanity. The Romanians thus appear at one and the same time as indigenous (in Roman Dacia). and thus our early history unfolded especially in the BalkanPeninsula. or indeed the validity of such solutions in general. Like Xenopol. claims Onciul. The explain the weight of theRomanianelementinthispolitical origms of Wallachia are also to be found here. In the first centuries of the Middle Ages the Roman element in the Balkans. for Onciul.CONTINUITY 117 formed also extended beyond the Danube.”4 For severalcenturiesfromtheseventhcenturyonwards. This Roman element in the Balkan countries is beyond doubt identical to the Romanian element. where it seems that we will look for it in that time in vain. The Romanian population spread east of the Olt and theCarpathians-intoMunteniaand Moldavia-nly from the second half of the eleventh century (following the abandonment of these lands by the Pechenegs). which he termed “admigration”. From Onciul’s point of viewtheRomanianpeoplewasformed from both the continuity of the Daco-Roman elementthe in province of Dacia and a considerable input of Romanized population from south of the river. Originary “Romania” included about half the present territory of Romania. which brought him. in part. which was only superficially Romanized according to Xenopol’s thesis. the Romanity of which. He even considered-in contrast to Xenopol-thatthesecondtsardom. had extended as far as the Carpathians. the RomanianBulgarian Empire. with Muntenia breaking away at a certain point from the Asan state. not only to a common territory of the Romanians and the Balkan Vlachs but to a feeding of Romanity north of the Danube with Romanic waves from the south. was actually stronger “than it could have been in Dacia Traiana in the time of the invasions. His theory. became.following the Slav invasions south of the Danube there considerable was movementfrom the Romanic “reservation” of the Balkans into the area north of the river. had nevertheless been considerably diminished by a series of barbarian invasions. which would further construction. The Danube disappeared as a border. I do not wish to discuss the validity of the solution proposed by Onciul. to know it and understand it. Onciul was referring. whichwouldhavefacilitatedtheprocess of “admigration”. is a synthesis or compromise solution between the strict thesis of continuity and the no less strict thesis of immigration. but also a large part of present-day Bulgaria and Serbia. immigrants (from south of the Danube). although it had survived. It would be very wrong to give up this history and to limit our past only to Dacia Traiana. however. Onciul argued that theterritories on the left side of the Danube hadbelonged to theBulgarian tsardom.beginningwiththeRoman conquest of theThraco-Illyrian lands and their Romanization.

Sextil Pqcariu (1877-1948) proposed a linguistic synthesis involving to an equal extent the territoryof Dacia Traiana and the Thraco-Illyrian provinces of the Balkan Peninsula.. inhis Origin Ofthe Romanians (1923-1927).5 Differentiating himself partially Roesler Philippide. only from and Ovid Densu$ianu (1873-1938). had been replaced in the meantime by various peoples of the Steppes.wascertainlythelaststage of Romanianexpansion in theMiddle Ages”. i his Histoire de h lazgue tvzrmaine (1902)”a work which n enjoyed a large readership in field the of Romance linguistics-took into consideration the survival of a certain Roman element to the north of the Danube. but further west in Illyria. the Balkan element was more important than the indigenous contribution.6 Finally. Overall it is possible to note a greater willingness among linguiststhan among historians to consider Romanity south of the Danube as a founding element. The idea of a double origin. assigning only an auxiliary role to the contribution from south of the Danube. Moldavia had not originally If been Romanian. who are mentioned by Jordanes %id Fiai.AlexandruPhilippide (1859-1933) goes furthest.Moldavia and Bessarabia. where he argues for a complete (or almost complete) extinction of Romanity north of the Danube after the Aurelian withdrawal. especiallyinthe southwest of today’s Romania. and a re-colonization of the present territory of Romania from the seventh to the thirteenth century by a Romanic population from south of the Danube. as was generally accepted. such as the Pechenegs and Kumans. north and south of the Danube. it had thusnot been Slav either. although he placed its origin not in Moesia.118 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS the immigrationists. an argumentin favor of Slav priority. since the Slavs.inwhichhe engages in a polemic with the immigrationists whilestill accepting an origin partly south of the Danube for the Romanian language and people and concedingto the immigrationists that “the regiontotheeast of theCarpathians. However. the relatively late Romanization of the Moldavian area (in the centuries preceding the formation of the principalities) is not.7 However. then the whole immigrationist argument could no longer be used against continuity north ofthe river. inhisview. P. Une inz’gme et zdn Gheorghe BriitianualsofollowstheOnciul-PuScariulinein mirach histonpe: Le petlph muman (1937. on .. too.opius. Panaitescu in his textbook of the history of the Romanians: “[. If the Romanian element had also formed to the south of the Danube. according to Briitianu. In his later interpretations Onciul came to put a somewhat greater accent on the area of Roman Dacia and to underline the permanence the Roman element of installed here.I from the existence of AlbanianelementsintheRomanianlanguage and the similarity of the Daco-Romanian and Macedo-Romanian dialects it can be shown that the area where the Romanian folkwas formed is the lower Danube valley. It was along the same line of synthesis between continuity and immigration that the greatest Romanian linguists took their positions.Romanianedition1940). is expressed clearly by P.

and Moldavia. and the Arges. which only began its new life from the year 107 onwards. subject was to a perceptible degree of Romanization. andDobrogean Romanity. and chose a compromise solution between continuity and immigrationism (with a variety of nuances concerning the weighting or extent of the territories north and south of the Danube that were involved in the Romanian genesis).”g The whole territory of Romania. Between Trajan’s Dacia. Roman troops. brought their contribution to theformation of theRomanianpeople. we have in the inclusion in the ideal originary Romanian sphere of a large part of the territory that remained outside Dacia Traiana. Iorga. “Dobrogea hll of Roman towns. THE CONSOLIDATION OF ROMANITY NORTH THE DANUBE OF There are. at the same time. numerous roads were opened up. caught as it was between Transylvanian. Roman life.CONTINUITY 119 both sides of the river. historians who. and the southern part of MoldaviaandBessarabia. without in any way ignoring Balkan Romanity..].unexpectedasit maybe for the Romanian reader of today.”“J . In his Beginnings OfRoman L i at tbe Moutb ofthe Danube (1923). little Russiansthe was called the Romanian Land [. in its deepest recesses. where villages were rarer. which were well guarded andmuch traveled. both from Transylvania to the seaand from the sea to Transylvania. In the valleys of the Siret. Muntenia. too.”B One thing must benoticedin all of this. became.Though not officially amexed to the Empire. where our people were still gradually Romanizing the western Slavs. Oltenian. set out in thefirstplacetoconsolidateandintegrate the sphere of Romanity and Romanian-ness north of the Danube. Under this name he brings together Dobrogea. inas much as Romanian rights were justified terms of Daco-Roman origins. and Dobrogea.. which he terms “Scythian Dacia”. the whole of Dacia Traiana. and the two Moesias (Bulgaria and Serbia). which had begun it almost a hundredyears earlier. and Dacian life. the IalomiJa. Vasile Pirvan couples the province of Dacia with a second focus of Romanity. the BuzQu. who has been subjected during the decades of national communism to a violent anti-Roesler campaign: that is. Muntenia and Moldavia are is Ml of Dacian villages permeated by Roman life. historians linguists. the plain to the north of the Danube. all theRomanian provinces. Romanmerchants. without noise or pomp. fact the that many Romanian specialists.andDaco-Romanpeasantspassed upand down.Such is P h a n ’ s conclusion (which he also expresses clearly in hisD a h ) . Oltenia. Muntenia.evenifhedoes not regardtheintensity of Romanity or Romanian-ness equal as from one province to another: “The whole landTransylvania. which was under Roman rule for centuries. tends to integratethecompletearea of Romania into an early “RomanianLand”.wherethereweremanyRomanians. wheretherewere a considerable number. Here then.

Romanian the founders rapidly lost the consciousness “that they belonged to a folk other than the Bulgarian folk”. and in some places as far as the sea. it can still be said that all historians before the communist period also took into consideration the formation and evolution of the Romanian peoplein the Balkans. Referring to what is usually in known Romanian historiography as“Romanian-Bulgarian the Empire”. In response to Xenopol’s “withdrawal into the mountains”. in contrast to the greater part of the Latin element in the Balkans. rather. the Daco-Romans were at home in the Vlzsia Forest-the “Forest of theRomanians”-in the Muntenian plain. to integrate the whole territory north of the river in the processof the constitution of the Romanian people. . “Through these scattered Romanians. The Romanian phase of historyunfoldsinthefirstplace on the territory of present-day Romania.”” Nor does C. The historical demonstration was not without contemporary implications: Romania was seeking to a role of arbiter in the Balkans and was play as already establishing itself the protector of the Aromanians scatteredthrough the peninsula.” But since forests covered almost the whole Romanian land. these shepherds of ours. From the foothillsof the mountains one could go to the Danube and the Dniester. or negligble or participation of Balkan Romanity in the construction of Romanian-ness north of the Danube. non-participation.but for anotherfolk. that is. Iorga underlines its hndamentally Bulgarian character. He seeks. “The Muntenian plain and the Moldavian and Transylvanian plateaus were covered with immense woodlands. the inheritors and continuers of easternRomanityinitsentirety. the Romanians are. Giurescu invoke any movement of Romanian population from the other side of the Danube in the first centuriesof the Middle Ages. passing through forests all the way. great and glorious things were achieved. C.although he underlines thepresenceandvitality of theBalkanVlachs. we can hardly speak of a withdrawal or cession of territory at all. which would have drastically limited the originary Romanian space.120 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS For Iorga and PBrvan. For all this gradual concentration on the whole territory of present-day Romania. the participation (either massive limited). he proposes a withdrawul ilzto thefonsts in the face of the various invaders: “The shelter of our ancestors in the Middle Ages was the forest. but once implanted north of the river its persistence was principally due to its own vitality.Romanity south of the Danube played a significant part in the extension of the Roman element in Dacia. The differences in interpretation concern the movement of population. by virtue of their very survival.”12 When the Slavs came.

Nor did the following. Romaniaemergedastheonly European entitywith an invariable outline. on the other hand. its In the first volume (1960) of The Histoy $Romania. and Bessarabia) that had been included for centuries within other borders. needing nothing from others and yielding them nothing of heritage. centuries of the first millenniumof our era. it is only possible to speak of a Roman or Romanic population”. filled in with a single color. a theoretical justification for therenunciation of theBalkanspacewasfoundby makinga distinction “preceding the formation of the people. The borders of modern Romaniawereimprintedasanunchangingframework over its entire historical evolution-an eternal Romania. by the eclipse of Balkan Romanian-ness. in which between two stages. in the area having its territorial nucleusin the hill and mountain landsof Dacia”.“inthe last north of the lower Danube. which. ARGUMENTS 121 The communist phase of historical discourse was marked. those borders were themselves blurred. in the hill and mountain zone of Transylvania and Oltenia. just as there could be no “renunciation” ( a w n in a historical sense) of those provinces (I‘ransylvania. The phrase “having its territorial nucleus in the hill and mountain lands of Dacia” was intended to mean that the Romanian people was not even born on the whole territory of Romania but only where there had been Roman colonization. . (At one time the image of Greater Romania.CONTINUITY T H E COMMUNIST YEARS: IDEOLOGICAL IMPERATIVES AND ARCHEOLOGICAL. The Romanian people was formed only after the separation of Balkan Romanity from Romanity north of the Danube followingtheSlavinvasion-moreprecisely.13 The limitation to the area north of the Danube is accompanied by an even more strict limitation. In its “internationalist” stage Slav the expansion over the originary Romanian space-Russian in the north and Bulgarian in the south-left no room for any manifestations of Romanian-ness beyond the present borders.Dobrogea. the “prolonged stage of the formation of the Romanian people itselfas a separate people”. Thus even if both banks of the Danube couldtaken be into consideration for the period of Roman rule in Dacia or immediately after. evenintheMiddle Ages. for reasons of prudence. submerged in the Slav sea. centuriesbeforeitwasfounded!) From this point of view it was no longer possible to talk of a historical ccannexation”of the area south of the Danube. The principle of “non-interference” i n the affairs of other states-a necessity if the Ceaugescu regime was to demand non-interference by the “others” in its own politics-was pushed back into the past. and the second. this issue has no connection to the actual formation of the Romanian people but only to the extension of the Romanic element in south-eastem Europe. stage prove more favorable to the Romanians “out there”. with the outline of the Greater Romania of 1918. Historywasrewritten in terms of a Romania which had existed forever. is expressed in the wooden language of the time. appeared on maps intended for educational regardless use of the period represented. the first stage. nationalist.

He sees the constitutive elements of the Dridu culture as “itz their majon$ of Romanian origin”.122 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS This was the opinion of Constantin Daicoviciu. the and already well known conclusions. without the slightest fluctuation of borders. in Muntenia and southern Moldavia. the ideologtcal grid of “unity and continuity” intervenes. Thus we find. presented as a well-established fact. identifies “proto-Rom. He even dared to consider the Dridu culture (identified in Muntenia. or at any rate not long after. it appears very probable that an early date can be acceptedfor the moment at which Latin came into general use in the territory of the eastern Dacians. with most Romanian researchers maintainingRomanian its character foreigners while regarded it as Slav. In his contribution to The Histoy of Romania. He expressed reservations regarding the tendency to attribute ethnic identity to archaeological haterial. as “a J h v culture (or more accurately. Between premises the offered. but highly developed in Bulgaria). an archaeologist otherwise noted for the and value originality of his research.anians” in the sixth century. without much of the country. an with emphasis on the discussion.Daicoviciuunderlinedthefact that the principle of continuity concerned only Roman Dacia. given that “the Dacian population in Muntenia and Moldavia was Romanized much later”. and extends the area in which the Romanian people was formed. less present in Transylvania. which was generally interpreted by Romanian archaeologists in terms of continuity.”*6It is clear from the context that this moment is prior to the’Aurelian withdrawal. For a “non-archaeologist” . the parallelism of the process of Romanization in Roman Daciaand outside it:“Talung into account all the possible considerations. was imposed in the 1970s and 1980s. demonstrates in The Histoy of the Romanian PeFb (1970) a remarkable degree of conformism. offers an overall perspective on the problem and a stimulating starting point for discussion of the relation between archaeology and continuity. not the entire Romanian territory of today.15 This version.correspondstothecrystallization of theRomanian ethnic and linguistic phenomenon. a method which was used and abused in order to decree the Romanian character of each and every vestige. the eighth and ninth centuries.~4 The territory of Romania was thus divided between a Romanized Transylvania and an extra-Carpathian zone markedby a profound Slav imprint. Slavo-Bulgar)”. in which the Romanian people was formed exact4 on the territory where it now lives. both in the official discourse of national history and in the more or less conformist contributions of many specialists. The Dridu culture was for several decades the focus of a polemic. published in1969. which he later upheld openly with arguments in the years of relative‘?iberalization”. to the entire territory connections between the provinces. which reflect an indisputable professionalism. In contrast to Daicoviciu. a newer version of which was written in the 1980s and published in 1991 (The Origin and Continai~of the Romaniam: Archaeology and Histon’cal Tradition). Ligia Birzu’s work The Conhzuip of the Materialand Spiritual Creatiotz of the Romanian People on the Fomer Territoty OfDana (1979). Ion Nestor. The stakes were particularly high as the period in question.

or about the linguistic amalgam. and even hnerary rituals. for animpression of the“new”area of formation of theRomanian is of people. or that in 271 or at some subsequent date the population north of the Danube migrated to the south? The time is past whenRoeslercould shift theDaco-Romauls totheBalkanswhile Xenopol crowded into mountains them the of Transylvania. but to extend its area of origin. We find only cremation burials. exterminated by the Romans. either in favor of the Romaniansor against them. Who today can still imagme that the Dacians disappeared. to which are added almost the entire territory of Hungary and Bulgaria as far as the Balkan mountains. After 1989 the political reasons for limiting history to present-day borders no longer apply. and in North Africa? The archaeological discontinuity around the year 600. Everything changed-the form of houses.’~17 The conclusion? We know it already: regardless of the premises.however. Continuity of life is evident.when culture returns to prehistoric forms of manifestation. their contents. How wasitthenpossiblefortheretotakeplace a parallel phenomenon of Romanization. “The area of thefirstRomanianarchaeologicalensemble”(which course the Dridu culture) includes the whole of Greater Romania. TheDridu culturecannowserve not only to keep the whole territory of Romania “under control”. and later Romanian. let us consider the map in the Histoty ofthe Romanians.CONTINUITY 123 the difficulty is this: the organized and massive character of Roman colonization in the province of Dacia has generally been advanced in support of its rapid and profound Romanization. where the Romans had not settled? We next find out that after centuries of uninterrupted material continuity there was a complete overturning in the second half of the sixth century and the first half of theseventh. might tend to invite an interpretation in such terms. in Pannonia. of important elements and “islands” of Dacian civilization. was Latinity wiped Or out. Archaeology is a two-edged weapon: much depends on who uses it and how it is used. an eleventh-grade textbook of 1992. but whether they continued to speak Latin.archaeologyshowsthesurvivaluntil much later. reflecting a restructuring which led to the evolution of the Dridu culture. after the Aurelian withdrawal. and we scarcely need archaeological arguments any more to support it. However.’* It is a remarkable expansion for a culture which Daicoviciu would not even allow to represent Transylvania! Would it not have been more correct to .withthesettlement of theSlavs on Romanianterritory. in the Balkans. It is more correct and more prudent not tomix things: material arguments have nothing to say about the language or languages people spoke. as it was in Britain. such as the preponderance of hand-worked pottery and the decline of craft techniques and tradition~. the problem of Romanian continuity is not whether people continued to live here. As nothing expresses the historical ideas in general circulation better than a school textbook. “in striking contrast with the preceding centuries”:“This is the moment in which antiquetraditionsdisappear. of the imposition qf the Latin htzgaage. it cannot be other than material and spiritual continuityon the former territory of Dacia! Whatweinfactseehere is anamalgamation of “continuity of life”with Romanian continuity.

After so many attempts. of a Romanian state.Piece by piece Hasdeu builds up a scholarly demonstration guided by an apparently impeccable logic.Iorgasuggestedthatthenativeshadorganized themselves. the . The common state of the Romanians and Bulgarians might. precisely in the phase of expansion of the first Bulgarian tsardom.to fill in thisgap. was predominantly Romanian? The Romanians were of course present in this vast area. into what he called “popular Romanias”. a no less mythologized aspect ispoLticalconbzzti0. precisely because they illustrate. as were the Slavs. It is a perfect political continuity.by inventing out of nothing a Romanian republic in the year 271. recordedin the Hungarian Chronicle of Anonymus (GestaHz4lzgamrt/m). As leaders of Oltenia theythenwatched over the fortunes of the Romanian people for a millennium. comparable with that of the neighboringnations. markedby events that are inscribed in the greater historyof the world.The mere perpetuation of an amorphous Romanian element.play an important role in Romanian history. the lack of a political tradition deeply rooted in time. Hasdeu reconstructed a wondrous history around thegreatBasarab family. more credibly.124 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS explain to the pupils we that do not actually know whether Dridu was a Romanian. field remained the still empty. does not seem a satisfactory solution. after the Aurelian withdrawal. The conclusion is that the Basarabs were originally a Dacian caste who gave Dacia kings and Rome several emperors. have playeda similar role.Glad. alongside ethnic continuity. subject to various periods of foreign domination. already. which was later published separately under the title The Basarabs: Who? Fmm IVhen? Since When? (1896). one group cannot be excluded in favor of the other? THEROMANIAN STATE DURING THE “DARK MILLENNIUM” Alongside ethnic continuity. His essay about them inEpmologimna Magnztm Romaniae. he until succeeds in constructing a splendid imaginary edifice. in some periods. The TransylvanianvoivodesGelu. for a thousand years. unfortunately imaginary. Following unbeaten trails as was his wont. But with Xenopol Onciulmetamorphosed and it into a sort of Bulgarian domination north of’theDanube. for itstime. Whether they adrmt it or not. In order to fill it in. before proceeding to found the Wallachian state. what givestheRomanianscomplexes is the absence. offers perhaps the most fascinating historicaltext in all Romanianliterature. The Chmnich ofHuru wasan attempt.Slav. a solution which is not quite explicit but which appeared to many to be the saving version and which has been invoked by many authors down to the present day.and Menumorut. or Slavo-Romanianculture? That in facttheinvestigation of material remains does not allow us to draw conclusions (at least not indisputable conclusions) about thelanguagewhichthepeopleinquestion spoke? Can we really say that Bulgaria.

had to continue whatever the price.inmorepreciseandappropriateterms. mentions a %on-organized state”. given that what is called. of In the last half century has an there been attempt-based especially on archaeologcal material-to pushsuchpoliticalunitsfbrtherbackintime. the existenceof Romanian formations).CONTINUITY 125 presence of certain Romanian state structuresat the time of Hungarian expansion. to be symbolic figures. Romanian historiography has come to rely on archaeology. from Roesler’s exclusively Transdanubian Romanitytothe no lessexclusiveformation of the Romanian people strictly on the territory of yesterday’s Dacia and today’s Romania.“the forming of theRomanian . a state is generally considered to be something organized.Butthis sort of fragmentation into self-contained mini-states was not enough satisfy to the national-communist ideology. Regardingthequestion of theformation and continuity of the Romanian people.howeversummary. the whole state. The problem of continuity has thus become an almost exclusively archaeologicalone. However. Thus the Romanian Communist Party’s Program of 1975. in a somewhat vague formula. with its emphasis on the complete unity of the country and the no less complete continuity of Dacia and Romania. the “formingof theRomanian people” actually means. Rather than being real people. a text with considerable historical implications. these three seem. Romanian historians of the last half century have tended to overestimate their own means. This privileged position tended to put brakes on the normal exercise of critical historiography. POLITICS AND In a rapid and inevitably incomplete overview. The concept of the %on-organized state” was thus. at the time. I believe that two observations are absolutely necessary. CONCLUSIONS: ARCHEOLOGY. I shall not permit myselftosuggest a solution that wouldfavor one or other of the hypotheses. It is a curious approach. As the literary sources in have ’general been used up.20 According to all current definitions and interpretations. the individualizationsof a certain political idea or historical situation (in the case in question. The state. like Negru VodQ. Language has taken second place to “concrete” evidence. the first concerning methodology and the second ideology. LINGUISTICS. which remained on the territory of Dacia after the withdrawal of Roman rule. we have here the avatars of the originary Romanian space: from Hasdeu’s Oltenia to the Romanian-HungarianBulgarian complex of thelatestschooltextbooks. a highly original contribution not only to the history of the Romanians but to the theory of the state in general. It is indeed hard to conceive of an area the size of Romania without any forms of territorialorganization. The uninterrupted existence of the state from Burebista to CeauSescu imposed itself as the dogma of autochthonous national-communism. showing interest little in the research and conclusions of linguists. and so the Romanian state became one of the oldest in Europe. although this does not change the basic essence the problem.

History.incompanywithmanyothers. My second observation concerns the ideological basisand political exploitation of the question. All they can say is that. The actualization of foundation myths is a mental process which any other we cannot prevent. a pupil of Alexandru Philippide. We should also note the publication-annotated but uncensored-f Carlo Tagliavini’s synthesis The Ongins 0s tbe Neo-La& L. a “Dacian” who did not speak Romanian is of no interest: he wasnot Romanian. For the purposes of this discussion. above all. was ready to uphold this point of view. In invokingtheirorigins. In fact. it is clear that what is at issue is. It is hard to suppose that the truth. But here there has been a confusion. but it is !lot necessarily more true. Nor can the linguists propose an indisputable solution. even history and linguisticstogether. the conclusions of the linguistscannot be considered certainand unanimous either. but ultimately its role is limited. the complete m d perfect truth. The formation of the Romanian people to the legitimizes north of the Danube. have the feeling that they are affirming their individuality and defending their rights. inwhichtherespected Italianlinguist.Naturally enough they have discovered. What is at issue is not the continuity of the population in general. Anti-Romanian attacks appeal no less to historical schemas. to a greater extent than the historians. It is correct to acknowledge and statewithoutembarrassmentthateverythinginthisfieldis hypothesis. they feel the need to take consideration into an area south of the Danube too. it matters little whether deliberateor not.126 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANLAN CONSCIOUSNESS language”. To the of extent that Hungarianhistoriographystands out as theprincipaladversary Romanian continuity north of the Danube. the problem of Transylvania.situatedtheformation of the Romanian language in a restricted area on both sides of the Danube: “Without denying the existence of certain remains of the Roman population north of the Danube. and actually on the land of Transylvania. once again. most foreign philologists recognize that the place of formation of the Romanian language must be approximately in located the southwestern borderlands to the north and south of the Danube? In fact. though of course nothing prevents us from considering one or other of the hypotheses to be more “true”. cannot offertotalreconstruction. I would is not go so far as to say that archaeologyhas nothing to offer insuchaquestion. in every corner of Romania and for every period under discussion. remains which confirm the continuityof life..especially when the phenomena under discussion lie in the far-off mists of beginnings. even if it is not the sole cccondition’y it certainly the first and essential condition. Even in the comm~wlist period Iorgu Iordan.like people.ungz/ages (1977. The version according to which the Romanian language was formed within a limited space (at any rate perceptibly smaller than that of present-day Romania) both north and south of the Danube presents fewer weak points and explains more than the other versions. but Roman and Romanian continuity. It may be considered a cleverer and more logical hypothesis.theRomanians. for decades archaeologists have taken upon themselves the mission of fullyclarifyingthe problem of continuity. will ever be reconstructed. The Romanians are people who speak Romanian. .

the Romanian right to Dobrogea is often related to the rule of Mircea the Old. Moreover. On the basis of history-of immigrationist theory. If we place ourselves in the year 800. if the occasion were to present itself. then we can send the Hungarians back to the Urds. especially in the Ceaugescu period when insistence on the antiquity and continuity of the folk became the order of the day. but also. on the other hand. but ifwe move on to 1000 or 1200 things look different. they are supported effectively by the fact that the substantial majority of the population is Romanian and that. it could be said. Romanian historians have allowed themselves to be caught up in a race.Historicalright was brought totheforeground. Mussolini wanted to remake the Roman Empire. history is not a unique and absolute given. whose specific need rightsto recognized. In the event of an inversion of thenumericalrelationbetween ethnic groups in Transylvania-a phenomenon which has occurred in various parts of the worldthe situation would be different. Here the affirmation of Serbian antiquity and continuity comes up today against the far more convincing argument of an ovenvhelming Albanian majority. He had. the Turks. most inhabitants of the province would decisively affirm their belonging to Romania. From this point of view the question of Transylvania is settled. the past must give way before the t-eabhr of the present and the f i e expression qf options.it is clearthatthereal moving force behind territorial evolutions is not the appeal to a distant past. The rights of the Romaniansin Transylvaniaareonly supported in appearance by Dacians or Daco-Romans. to beprecise-the Hungarians could be sent back to the Urds and the Americans back to Europe.and Latin was spokenfrom Spain Bulgaria to and from Libya to Britain. was not only ruled by Mircea. Hungarian or Romanian mythological exercises do not change anything: Transylvaniaindisputably is Romanian. however. Let no one say I am proposing a stupid game. it proposes a multitude of sequences. rights the The coming of the Romanians from elsewhere. and.Withoutdenyingtheright of thehistorical imaginarytodeployitsresources. The forcible modification of borders can easily find a historical alibi: History offers everything. Who could pretend to return to the borders and ethnic proportions of hundreds of years ago? The case of Kosovo is instructive. What would happen if we found out that the Romanians came here after the Slavs? In fact nothing wouldhappen. and for much longer periods. this by those nostalgic for time in favor of a historical right which can be invoked Greater Hungary. However. the Bulgarians. Dobrogea. Similarly. leaving the Indians free in their own land. every right: for almost a millennium the MediterraneanSea had been an Italian lake.CONTINUITY 127 Romanian over province. since nothing is . In fighting against Hungarian immigrationism. we can find the same game in our own history.by the Greeks. too. The situation is similar with Bessarabia and even Moldavia. demonstrates the historical right of the Hungarians. from which each us can selectwhat of suits us. be Neither continuity nor immigrationism can’alterthe data of the problem one iota.justasit is alsoindisputable that a Hungarianminoritylivethere. in history or elsewhere-but right is to decide. and To the extent that not force-which can always find its justifications.

We have just admired the Romanian map of the Dridu culture. Europe is being constructed on the basis of present realities. not our ancestors'. regardless of what might have happened a argument was putabovean thousand or two thousand years ago. including its present politicaland ethnographical maps. . This is valid not just for Romanians. What do we do then? Do we include Romania in Bulgariaor Bulgaria in Romania? The issue that must be addressed is not the giving up of foundation myths but the de-dramatizing and de-politicizing of them. but it is an illusion (which can become dangerous) that history has already marked out the 'road which we must continue to follow. has considerably attenuated the conflictual character of the discourse of origins. indeed not even especially for Romanians. The recourse to history can have a boomerang effect. The responsibility for today is ours. but there is a danger that a Bulgarian one will look much thqsame. It is natural that each nation should respect and love its history. we cannot build the future by looking at the past. at least within the Central European space. The implication of the past in the present (which in fact means the projection of the present onto the past)can generate inextricableconflicts. A fragde unassailable argumentation. learning something from its recent history.128 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS certain and univocal in matters of historical right-especially in such a complicated question as the origms of the Romanians-a feeble and controversial argument ended up eclipsing the undeniable reality of the predominantly Romanian character of Transylvania. since the West. but for everybody.

but they were not Romanian citizens in the seventeenth century. We find the ethnic unity of the Romanians. everywhere and at all levels. Intoxicated national with sentiment. fades and disappears ifwe go back into the past. Whiletheaspiration to unityisuniversal. as was the entire ruling class of his land. ("'he Hungarians of Transylvania are Romanian citizens today. MOLDAVIANSOR ROMANIANS? . As a privileged form of unity. the nation began to be seen (especially by the Romantics of the nineteenth century) as the very key and end of the whole historical process. The Empire and Christezdom are the most typical political and ideological embodiments of the idea of unity in premodern Europe.The idea of the nation-state imposed itself historicalmyth. so that the project in question can hardly be seen as a Romanian one. science. The nineteenth century the saw outbreak of the national as a hndamental phenomenon..We encounter it all the time.thespecificmanifestations of the archetype vary according to the historical context. still less any political unity on national grounds. for the simple reason that such thinking was foreign to the spirit of the age. common origin. affirmedas clearly as we could wish However. becomingoneof thegreatsecularreligions of the last two centuries.even 3 the supreme value. and ideology have as their hndamental aim the briiging of order into the world. historians ended up forgetting that what for the modern world is an essential value. Unity is an essential archetype. From the cosmicwhole to thebasiccells of society. or at least their relatedness and starting with Grigore Ureche.. sometime. givingway to other concepts and forms of unity. this recopition did not initially presuppose a common political project. The invocation of the Dacian project of GabrielBethlen in recentRomanianhistoriographyleaves to one side the elementary fact that the prince of Transylvania was Hungarian.everything is passed through this unifying treatment. Human beings are tireless seekersand builders of coherence. had they any way nor of knowing that Transylvania would be united with Romania 1918. We try to give unity and meaning to a world which would otherwise disorient us its by heterogeneity and itslack of sure significations.) in . Religion. WALUCHIANS.CHAPTER FOUR TRANSYLVANIANS.

The Moldavians knew perfectly well that they spoke much the same language astheMuntenians. or. The historian must take into account how representative particular sources events otherwise. with Romania. As for the political union of these two principalities. The project of union must be seen as a process. or an autonomy extended to the whole Austro-Hungarian area with a Romanian population (Transylvania. Towards the middle of the nineteenth century it came onto the agenda.without in any way hinting at a hture unification.werebordersfixed on grounds of ethnicity and language. by isolating amplifying and a particular document or affirmation. and are. even as an ideal project. A Greater Romania from the Dniester to the Tisza belongs unquestionably to the politicd imaginary of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. as an effective solution. but until the middle of the century it did not managetoovertakethedesignation moldovean (Moldavian). it was hard to imagine the dismemberment of the Habsburg Monarchy. The Transylvanian Romanians sought the autonomy of Transylvania. it is possible to “prove” anything. and But a far greater number of such documents deal with the problems of each country separately. The generic term increasingly adopted in thefirsthalf of thenineteenthcentury. In any case. or of the Hungarian nucleus of this monarchy. The ideawaslikewise put forward that the lands should unite in the opposite direction. and Bukovina). and one which prefigures the current European project. The unification of central Europe on a federal basis comes across as a reasonable and promising solution.130 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS Nowhere in Europe. until around 1800. a project supported by Bilcescu among others. From around 1800. not as something given and invariable from the beginning. after 1859. up until the First World War the principle of autonomy within Austria or Austria-Hungary was more often and more explicitly formulated than the remakingof old Dacia. The issue of Transylvania and its union with the other Romanian territories is even more delicate. In this way the seemed asif theCentralPowersweregoingtowinthe Romanian nation would have found its unity under the patronage of Vienna. The federalization of the Habsburg Monarchy seemed a more realistic solution. it was called for by a number of boyars in memoranda presented between 1772 and 1829.aimed at bringing together the whole Romanian territory. In 1848 there was a proposal for a ‘Qanubian Confederation”.inany period. and theyfelt closetotheneighboringland inmanyrespects. the Banat. we find all sorts of “Dacian”projects. this does not mean that it was equally present in 1800. and it would be incorrect to see it as a mere tactic of the national movements. but forcenturiesthisdid not prevent themfrom callingthemselves not Romanians but Moldavians(as the mm6n (Romanian) was Romanians of Bessarabia still do). a step towards a subsequent separation from the empire. andmoreandmorefrequentlyas the centuryadvances. However. The fdct that itdid not happen inthe end does not mean that it could not have . a fact which been has noted highlighted. by the joining of Romania to a “Greater Austria” (a proposal first formulated in 1848 but reiterated as late as 1918. rather than an apparently utopian union with the two principalities. when it War).

but a history of the Romanians seen from Tagi. we must see the sourceof all their past misfortunes. as national history. nineteenth-century historians hesitated between projecting the sentiment of unity into the past and criticizing the past precisely for the lack of nationalsolidarity. “If the Greeks fell first under the yoke of Philip and later under that of the Romans. even more. Thebans. Moldavia. with disastrous political results for both peoples. before it was partitioned. Muntenians. remain distinct. and in law. in which. sees a traditional aspiration towards unity as the source of Michael’s deeds. and not Romanians. and especially of the Romanians of Wallachia.Romanianhistoryis no longer recounted separately by states or provinces (Wallachia. with whom we are brothers in the cross. characteristically. The border has faded. by its reduction to the permanent manifestation of the struggle for unity: people had no way of knowing what the hture had in store for them. an important step on the path of unity is represented by Sincai’s Cbmnz’ch.”l It is a history of the Romaniansas a whole. or Moldavians. in language. According to Kogiilniceanu. If B5lcescu’s Micbaeltbe Brave illustrates the former strategy. “Far from sharing a sentiment of hatred towards the other parts of my people. just in same the way our ancestors wanted to be Transylvanians. but. it did the ancient Greeks. with a certain insistence on Moldavia. and of our brothers in Transylvania. the latter is central to Kogilniceanu’s demonstration in his 1843 Opening Word. In historiography.understandably.. . Transylvania). Only rarely did they choose to look on themselves as one and the same nation. what has characterized the Romanians. in blood. The Great Union of 1918 certainlyrepresented the perfect formula from the point of view of the national ideal. [. In their lack of unity. as is not unity but division. History follows a single pathway. of Wallachia. Banatians. but its virtual pathways are far morenumerous. and not Hellenes. It is possible to learn just as well from the mistakes of our ancestors as from their virtues..but the fact thus accomplished should not lead us to an abusive simplification of previous history. on happenings inMoldavia.Moldaviamaintains a certain degree of individuality in his writing. which can be valorized equally in terms of its enduring historical roots or through the misfortunes that result when the ideaof unity is neglected. however close.I In expanding more. I will not pass over noteworthyacts of the other parts of Dacia. but it separates entities which. I look on the whole area where Romanianis spoken as my country. it is because they wanted to be Plataeans. and on the history of all Moldavia.” Kogiilniceanu pleaded for Romanian unity and for a national history conceived inthe spirit of thisunity. In eachcasethesupremevalue promoted is the Romanian national idea. Athenians. In fact.UNITY 131 happened. but according to strictly chronological criteria. however. for thefirsttime. as we have seen. or Spartans. B5lcescu attributes a national sense to the actions of Michael the Brave and. Half a century later.

Crigana. at a certain time began to move out towards the valleys and plains of the Black Sea. with its immutable structures. the Romanians are obliged to fight against geography: The Carpathians are the decisive factor in the political division of the a Romanians. Herder. If nations are predestined then there must be a geographical predestination. for more than half a millennium. the great prophet of modem nationalism. Thus were born the two states of Muntenia and Moldavia.Maramureg.The unitary geography of the Romanian people.132 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS RIVERS AND MOUNTAINS The problem of unityalsoimplies a geographicalmythology. In order to unite. almost circular space bounded by three great waterways-the Danube. Muntenia and Moldavia. was elaborated in the nineteenth century in the image of a perfect. even as enemies. This movement the of Romanians out from fortress the of the Carpathians by way of two openingsinparticular. In fact. it has marked out from the beginning. For him.andtheBanat. insteadof there being just one. with Xenopol. it was possible for two states. the land in either unity or itself does not conceal any predestination or lawsleadingto .So strong was the divergent orientation imprinted on them from the beginning that they were to go on living separately. In the Romanian version. expressed categorical in terms. a well-defined space. the Carpathian chain is responsible for the division of the national space. marked out by clear borders. The territorial expansion of a language or a nation does not derive from some geographical fatality. explainswhy it is that intheeasternand southern plain.I differentlands:Transylvania. insistently invokes geography in support of national history. a typology is impossible. even on a continuous territorial unit. one of the key figures of the geographical imaginary.mountains unite while rivers &vide. We shall see that the Romanians. which has continued to the present day..could not fail to be sought at some point by national ideology. the Dniester.Far from having ensured theunity of theRomanians.. which has been reserved for them from the beginning.internal rangesdividedtheRomanians into a numberof [. He notes that in most places the opposite rule applies: rivers unite and mountains divide. “Natural borders”. to coalesce.2 The Carpathians unite. the direction of the evolution of the various human communities. A unitary history thus presupposes a unitary geography. after remaining for long time in the fortress of the mountains. while on the other side of the mountains.oneinthesouth through Figiirag the and other in the north through Maramureg. and the Tisza-a space supported and solidified by the vertebral column of the Carpathians which passes right across it. the Carpathians divide: the divergent interpretations lead us back to the mythological roots of the issue. We find a quite different opinion.

sawa pronounced ebb towards the end of the nineteenth century. subtleties of argumentation are of little use.whichhadstill not been uprootedfrompeople’sminds. the the administrative unification of the Romanian lands.AlreadyA. fear of Russia pushed Romania towards Germany Austria-Hungary... A certain political conjuncture played part also its in process this of attenuation. As for the fragmentation of the Romanian territory in the Middle Ages. the progressive On consolidation of cultural and spiritual relations between the Romanians on either side of the Carpathians.I so little did Michael thinkof the union of the Romanians that he did not even conceive.UNITY 133 division. on thecontrary.. the the maintenance of their inhuman constitution. D.inthechiefofhislands. lead to an effective political project On for integrating Transylvania in the Romanian state. It is sufficient to follow interpretations concerning Michael the Brave and the union of 1600-a sensitiveindicator of thenationalism-historyrelationshipin Romanian culture-to observeaclearchange of tone from Bilcescu to the historians of thefollowinggeneration. Xenopolunambiguously states that there was no national sense to Michael’s policies: [. before 1914. The orientation of historical studies towards criticism highlighted inappropriateness the of transferring modern national sentiment into a past that was preoccupied with other values. left Romanian he the population withoutrights. wereconditions such the of time. but only their placing under lords subject and obedient to himself. The effective construction of Romania considerably reduced “urgency” the of constructing a historical unity in the imaginary. What sort of union of the RomaniansdidMichaeltheBravewantif. All that could be insisted on for the time being was their full political and cultural emancipation. the contrary.took measures to keep it in that guaranteeing nobles state.I system.subject. Why should there have been a united Romania in a Europe itself profoundly fragmented? HISTORICAL UNITY: EBB AND R€l-ELABORATION The emphasis on the question of Romanian unity in the Middle Ages. the and increasing momentum of the Romanian nationalist movement could not.but. Finally.accordingtothefeudal [. inthe mostdegradingslavery. the most incontrovertible evidence that idea of union never the even entered Michael’s head is the fact that when he laid his hands on Transylvania he did not release the Romanian people from the slavery in whichthenoblesofthatcountrykeptit. where desired rule he to himself. and which meant the implicit acceptanceof a separate status for the Romaniansover the mountains.. the other hand.topeople of another folk and another . or rather politicaldivision(thereverseside of thesamelogic).

It is worth drawingspecial attention to two aspects which lead to this conclusion.” The parallel with the present is brought out strongly: “Today. Unity thus flows from the need for imperial protection and opens towards the wider space of “Greater Austria”: “Michael felt the need. [. but as a foreign conqueror. At that time. without having the idea of nationalmi9 clearly in his mind as it is today.. further than Iorga in the fusion of history with nationalism it was hard to go (at least within professional historical circles). as was of the Romanian villagesinhisownprincipality.with its ovx ziicient dynasty. with villages inhabited by Romanians. which was not ready to conceive it. Nicolae Iorga but and C. in with line a whole series of Romanian voivodes. we want to strengthen the emperor.”S In the interwar period no responsible historian longer claimed that Michael any had in mind a clear project of Romanian unity.nuances: P. of course. noting the absence any of national project. In any case.”4 Of great interest for the relationship between critical methodology orientation and towards Central Europe is the solution proposed by Ioan Sirbu. more effective. nor do they go as far as identifying a national idea. who was upsetting the countries around him. C. union. although penetrated by an indisputable national spirit. tried to avoid the trap of projecting national ideology onto theRomanianMiddleAges.. having reached maturity. and. and here is what Iorga writes about the relationship of Michael to Transylvania: “He saw that this too was a Romanian had. to comewithintheGermanEmpirewith people. trained in German the school. each land was used to living according to its own c ~ t n = s . our whole people. likewise. “was maintained only by the sword of the conqueror. Even in school textbooks the nonexistence of such anintention is stated. Dimitrie Onciul expressed the sense of Michael’s action in a few words. ambitious and unruly. Giurescu seem less categorical. According his to point of view. what the great voivode sought. P. The idea of national unity was not in the yet political consciousness of that time. expressed in The Histoy OfMchael the Brave (1904-1907). and moreglorious Romanian lord. a historian from the Banat. There are. . The he shows. but we should not imagine that theMoldavianswere happy about it. but we eagerly expect him to strengthen us too. as we know.”’ We may say that. Romanian historiography. whose guiding thought was the fight for the Faith. for those times were not yet fully prepared for it. was “German sovereignty”.”6 The same Iorga characterizes the sentiments of the Moldavians towards Michael thus: “The conquest of Moldavia wascarried out quickly.134 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS With the characteristic forthrightness of the “critical school”. Panaitescu refuses any involvement of a Romanian consciousness. and wanted all his Romanian with allhisheart.I Thus many of the subjects of Ieremia VodQ looked on Michaelwhenhearrived not as a braver. come to fulfill the unity the people of in a single political form. he told himself that he would be able to ruleas lord over the Romanian villages just he master here.

of the numerous conflictswhich punctuated relationsbetween the principalities. in which he proposes precisely the full integration of the Transylvanian past in the national history. whose fall before the Turks should haveshownStephentheprecipicewhichawaitedhim. on the one hand. We now can only begin to measure the extent of the Moldavian ruler’s error. In any case. the ruler of a people of the same blood and folk. including Stephen the Great andMichael the Brave. For all that. For example. for the disaster suffered byWad‘J’epeg: “It was not the Sultan Mohamed who determinedthedownfall of theruler of Muntenia. including interwar the period. according to the number of pages devoted to it. especially between WallachiaMoldavia. We sometimescome uponuncompromising moral judgements.04.) The second observation concerns the weighting of the Romanian territories in the historical discourse. In anycase. a simple statistical calculation offers conclusive results.UNITY 135 First. in the second volume of C. there is the treatment. compared with 6. C.too. a weighting of 48 percent. and Transylvania only 11 percent. as in the case of Stephen the Great’s unsuccessll attack on Chilia. As a historical personality he is no less important than Stephen or Michael. with Vasile’s ambition and loveof pomp crumbling before thewisdomandsimplicity of theWallachianprince. had now crushed the most precious ally of all. the inclination towards eventsof the historiography of the period left not the slightest family quarrel untouched. who notes. whom we shall later see running in all directions in search of allies against the Turks. The extreme solution is found inDimitrieOnciul’s Fmm the History of Romania. upon which Xenopol meditates at length.83 for Michael and 5.55 for .”8 (we may note in passing the particular logic of the historian. the non-existence of nationalsentiment intheMiddleAges. which deals with the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. and Generations of historians presented the parallel reignsof Matei Basarab and Vasile Lupu. Moldavia has. leaving Transylvania completely aside. The overallimpression is of reticence in the face of theambiguous status of a Transylvania that was both Romanian (in terms of the majority of its population and its present situation) and different from the other Romanian lands in that it had participated in another history. given that he is a figure “shared” by Romanian andHungarian historiography. Wallachia 41 percent. and indeed in somewhat bitter terms. For a long time. He holds Stephen guilty. Giurescu’s H Z ‘ J ~ O ofthe hmmzans. and on the other vehemently accuses those who acted contrary to this same sentiment. Transylvaniawasgivenlessspace in works of synthesisthanWallachia and Moldavia(apart from thosewritten by Transylvanians). . but Stephen the Great. whichdealsonlywith Wallachia and Moldavia. The somewhat delicate positionof Iancu of Hunedoara (Hunyadi J h o s ) is also significant. without complexes and even with unembarrassed insistence. an investigation into the relative weighting of national heroes inhistorytextbooksbetween1859and1900 found Iancu in a quitemediocre position (with a percentage of 1. He. in terms of the struggles between the two rulers.Thisis noted by Ioan Lupag in TheHistory of the Union of theRomanians (1937. from a perspective whichset out tobe not only historical but also ethical.

hierarchy continues textbooks). The need became even more urgent after 1940. “when three the Romanian lands. especially Transylvania. awork inwhichthe author explicitlyacknowledgesa “that around us the particular political aim. and the Tisza. at any rate it did not imprint him in the national consciousness to the extent that Hungarian historians did. and among them was the explicit renunciation of a Romanian national idea in the Middle Ages. was to highlight the unifying factors (geographical. ethnic. neglected by their own defenders. having been accumulated over time by an orgamc evolution.hesays. the orientations of the critical school constituted a lasting gain. which.evenwiththeTransylvanian Lupq. Of course. all the same. based on arguments which included the lack of a fundamental basis for unity.’ a which recent in Romanian historiography adopted the Transylvanian voivode but was not able to a s s d a t e him I l l y . could not be left without a historical answer.136 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS I Stephen. would lead progressively to the modem nation and Greater Romania. according to the Transylvanian historian. was there the fundamental unity of the Romanian space. although it is left unclear what should be understood. in the absence of a medieval unity of national type. the Dniester. adversaries of Romanian unity are ceaselessly active. and unknown to European opinion”. we are looking at a consolidation of the foundations and in no sense. however. by “seed”.”In reaction to this it was his duty to highlight “the invariable foundation of our right to unity”. the historian states. an attempt to make a tighter connection between the modem unitary Romanian state and its diverse historical components. the elements of which (‘have for so long been contested by adversaries. Once again. required also their organic integration in the national history. Transylvania. and structured by the Carpathians. The solution chosen by some historians. the union of the new provinces.” m e statement is somewhat sweetened by the claim that ‘(the seed of the national idea was not lacking from Michael’s acts of rule”. goes these Before national consciousness.ll .itwaspreciselythelack of thisconsciousnesswhichwas the chief reason for the short duration of this Romanian rule. “In 1600”.r etformation de I’24niti mztmaine (1943). when everything was agdin put under a question mark by territorial maiming and war. in the interwar period and the years of the Second World War. bounded by the Danube.)lO A suitable approach is proposed by G. “We cannot beunaware”. came together under the political scepter of Michael the Brave. or concerning various forms of political collaboration). the Black Sea. a return to the idea of national consciousness. I. in more elaborated historical terminology. to which he adds the unitary ethnic factorwithitsspecificfeaturesandthe no less important religious dimension of Orthodoxy. Brgtianu in his 0ngine. while actions from outside aimed at the dismemberment of Romania. and Moldavia. who perhaps goes further than others. On the other hand. We may note. Ioan LupaS’s argumentation regarding the “history of the Romanian union” along lines. Muntenia. cultural.

Even the western border claimed by the voivode corresponded moreor less to the present Romanian-Hungarian border. was beyond the reduced forces of a single obliged prince the and the statesmen to smallRomanian state. a more nuanced point of view. but nor is there the complete absence of a historical sense which would lead ultimately to national consciousness and unity. in the fifteenth century the historian detects “the unity of action which the struggle w n s t the Ottoman invasion imposed to an increasing extent on the two principalities and the Transylvanian contingents”. BrQtianu proceeded partially to rehabilitate Negru Vodii (whose f existence had been deniedby Onciul) in The Histoni. as we have seen. where there differences. but “the coincidence is no less striking”. cementing relations between the Romanianson both sides of the Carpathians. were later taken up by the historiography of the 1970s and 1980s. We may conclude that the Romanian Middle Ages. And here is Briitianu’s conclusion:“Thepoliticalobjective of Michaelthe Brave was not national unity and his action can be sufficiently explained in terms of the logical consequences of his ideas of crusade.I But the actual history of his reign and his deeds demonstrates clearly that the historical mission of defending Christendom. and the synthesis. This mission overcome particularist traditions and to take into consideration. who respected the canons of the profession.12 To return to the test case of Michael the Brave. the antithesis was its complete negation.”13 Thus there is no national consciousness. a greater unity. were not abusively invested with characteristics of&// and consabtls mi9 which they evidently did not have. Britianu liked to invoke the Hegelian triad of thesis-antithesis-synthesis. “in the absence of a national consciousness”. and his intention was to rule as hereditary sovereign on both sides of the Carpathians. in the treatment of historians prior to the communist period. In this case the thesis was “national unity”. concern are they the degree of emphasis or discretion in identifying starting points anddirections of evolutionwhichwould later lead towards unity. which following many other Muntenian and Moldavian rulers. Of course. which couldnot fail to become national once the times permitted. at least “an instinct of unity”. ’ . he. from an as yet exclusively strategic or political point of view. In the spirit of the same program. It is ironic that the “unitarist” theses of this historian. according to Briitianu he had. when they were pushed far beyond the limits which the author. took upon himself.. [. who died in horrible conditions in communist detention and whose works remained for a long time on the 3ndex”.UNITY 137 Thus. Seeing in the legendary ruler a personification of the southern Transylvanian Romanian element which played had a role in the founding of Wallachia (just like the Maramure? people of Dragq and Bogdan in the case of Moldavia). would not allow himself to exceed. national and lingustic considerations did not enter into the calculation. BrQtianu introduced a new argument for unity..al Tradioon abotlt the Fotlnding o the Romanian States (1945).

and as such was considered the representative of Emperor Rudolf 11. Welearn that “MichaeltheBravewasusedby the Habsburg Empire. the accent was put 011 classinterestsandrelationswiththe neighboring powers. in the context of the aggressive actions of the Romanian bourgeoisie at the end ofthe First World War. It is interesting to observe how from related but distinct peoples. by the equation of Dacia Romania. which the Romanian lands had clearly lacked until recent times. Modern national ideology has said its word as far as this matter is concerned. fearing that after the union these positions wouldoccupied be by bourgeois. . it is not evenseen. andthen.aswouldhavebeencorrect. from Piwan and Iorga to the present. In Roller’s textbooks. which needed a well-organized state with a large internal market.. far from any Romanian sense being identifiedin the action of Michael the Brave.”l5 As for the union of Transylvania (not to mention Bessarabia and Bukovina) with Romania. but who can know how much the Dacians were conscious of belongingtoadistinctpeoplespreadoverthe entire territory of today’s Romania and even beyond it.138 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS The armature of unity proved more powerful at the very foundation of national history.I The greatboyars who heldhigh positions in the state apparatus were against the union. this was placed. [. as they are presented in Grigore Tocilescu’s Daka befon the Romans (1880). with the aimof conquering Transylvania for the Austrians.. especiallythe Habsburgs. the Getae and Dacians become “two branches of the same people” mentioned separately (%e Getae and the Dacians”) in Xenopol. The voivode Michael became governor of this province. as we have already seen. who regarded Transylvania as an Austrian province. The developing Romanian bourgeoisie saw its interests threatened by theTurkishyoke. Not only does the union of 1859 not now mark the crowning point of a long history permeated with the spirit of unity (as in nationalist interpretations). Did this people have a name? We can be sure they did not call themselves Geto-Dacians! ’ COMMUNISM: THE ME“131 OF UNITY AT ITSZENITH The first phase of communism w s hardly concerned at all with the problem of a nationalunity. Everything is reduced to the play of material interests: “The idea of uniting Moldavia and Wallachia in a single state first appeared with the developmentof capitalism. a single people with a single name: Daaans or Geto-Danans.According to thedefinition of thenationformulated by Stalin. what wasessentialwasthecreation of a“unitaryinternal market”.astheexpression of the strong national sentiment characteristic of the period.”*4The relations between the Romanian lands and Russia are sometimes more strongly highlighted than the connections within the Romanian space itself (for example in the cases of Stephen the Great and Constantin Brincoveanu). with Medieval dissentions appeared as a mere transitory phase between a well-defined Dacian space and the present-dayRomania that restoreditsoutlines once again.

Michael had taken numerous measures in their favor. The insistent underlining of uninterrupted unity. with the Romazian. the political programof Ceaugescu'sbrand of communism:auniformsociety ofpeople thinking and feeling the same. demonstrating conscious preparation for the act of 1600. What generations of historians had sought to demolish. through the intermediary of the past. turned things round completely. served.theprincesseemmuchmore conscious of the national idea than does the great scholar Miron Costin. nationalist discourse. hundred years later. the interpretation of which tells us everything there is to be said about the ideological loading of national history. In anycase.According to Andreescu. Andreescuoffers the instructive caseof a history. Unig became. sense of his accent placed once again on theRomanian. which were completely historiography. All totalitarian projects. Thus nineteenth-century historical interpretations. without any problems of conscience. The Romanian provinces could not have been conquered. but united in fact. Here there took place a leap back of over a century. Petru Rare9 of his R~stit~tio sought a confederation of Romanianstates.whileMichaeltheBravewanted a centralized state. which became almost a characteristic trait of Romanian being. especially those of the Romantic generation of the mid-nineteenth century. closely united around the providential leader. As a a medievalistwith a completelydifferenttraining and style than the historianactivists of the Ceaugescu years. on the contrary. It was then forbidden to speak anymore of the colzqtlest of Transylvania and Moldavia (the term previously used. combined were with the outdated in terms of contemporary imperatives of current communist ideology and politics. Wheregeneration after generation of historianshadclaimed that the voivode showed relatively little interest in the Romanians of Transylvania. concept of the national state had crystallized in the rest of Europe. It is fitting to return here to the Michael the Brave moment. A Dan'an ideeseeking the creation of a single Romanian state on the former territory of Dacia-was likewise discovered to have been present throughout the sixteenth century. This was the aim. In the spirit of absolute truths propagated by a doctrine which was simplistic in its very essence. .alongside continzdy. the only aim-certainly not patriotism or the disinterested search for historical truth.andimplicitly of Romanian historiography. they aspired to be united. in the two volumes Danae (1980 and1989). put ahighvalue on theidea of unity. Yet another RomanianThis was first! theory constructed with indisputable but unconvincing erudition by Stefan Andreescu. the point of equilibrium was quickly left behind in the transition from ignoring any Romanian sentiment to the projection of the national idea over the whole of hstory. or at least to nuance-out of simple respect for their profession a andpatriotism correctly understoodbecame again part of an obsessive. conscio~s~y action. unfortunately and efficient. andcommunismmore thanany. theguidingaxis of thehistoricaldiscourse. two centuries before the. it was discovered that.UNITY 139 . The nationalistphase of communistideology. by all Romanian historians).

Stephen the Great. The autonomy of the voivodate-which perfectly fits the general typology of territorial fragmentation in the Middle Agesconferred on it a Romanian sense. In a few pages of impeccable logic. as he still is in the Republic of Moldova. First. for a long time the great prince had been a symbol of Moldavian particularism. in his turn. Indeed. One particularly fiery historian does not hesitate to write that in 1386 the struggle for the “final union” of the Romanian space bep. they went back to the fifteenth and even to the fourteenth. as of pure fabrication. From Michael the Brave. since Stephen ruled only Moldavia. He demonstrates that in the fourteenth aid fifteenth centuries not only did Wallachia and Moldavia . then.17 The strategy of unity led also to the retroactive extraction of Transylvania from the Hungarian political space. and from the sixteenth century. with the princes of Moldavia. while apparently autonomous and correctly elaborated. was the solution to the delicate problem of a Romanian medieval period that at first sight seemed more characterized by division than by solidarity. and as many Hungarian rulers of Transylvania had acted according to the ‘Dacian plan”. as moving back in time was easy and profitable. there was a clear falsification of history by omission.161nthis case it is not so much a matter of interpretation (what was in Michael’s mind when he “united”. and his relations with Wallachia were at times highly conflictual. these conflicts could in fact mean real attempts at unification. indicating a higher degree of dependence than that of the great feudal magnates in France or the German Empire. essentially does no more than serve one of the great myths of the regime. So here. Even so. the classic dispute between Matei Basarab and Vasile Lupu disappeared for a time from school textbooks. and Transylvania trying in turn to impose their supremacy over their sister lands. Michael. with a view to the uniting of all the Romanians. To give a single example. a young historian has demolished the theory of an early aspiration towards unity in the Middle Ages. There was much insistence on the notion that Transylvania had closer relations with Wallachia and Moldavia than with the Hungarian crown (passing discreetly over the detail that the voivode was appointed and revoked by the king of Hungary. The repeated conflicts between the three countries were cancelled by the application of a twofold strategy. despite appearances. historians moved back into the sixteenth century. who were hereditary masters of their lands. The method of eliminating historical facts was preferred to the less certain tactic of transforming the conflict into an attempt at unification (Vasile Lupu did indeed want to place his son on the Wallachian throne). was proclaimed “lord of all the Romanians7’. not to say “conquered” the Romanian territories). In this case. then why not also for Mircea the Old? The joining of Dobrogea to Wallachia under his rule could be interpreted as the first union in the series of successive unions which founded Romania. Wallachia. in relation to their respective sovereigns). If “anything is possible” in the case of Stephen. as these conflicts were too numerous they required to be minimalized and partially eliminated.140 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS which. Stephen. Vasile Lupu.

and hypotheses of al sorts. where the problems of 1848 were much morecomplex and largely different than in Wallachia and Moldavia. the period whichwitnessedthegradual f o r p g of thenational sentiment and of effective national unity. Through all this went the great steamroller of unity. But nor was territory the conventionally named ‘Transylvania” uniform: the Romanians of the historical principality of Transylvania.. which were far from identical. found themselves in opposite camps. of course. centering on a unification of the entire national space. but also different groups of Romanians. As unity hadtobemanifested.UNITY 141 not work together. Particularlyabusivewas the “integration” without any nuances of Transylvania.andTransylvaniahadtraditionallybeenpresentedseparately. phase the of full “unification” of Romanian history. the sharing of values and the relations between the revolutionaries. the fomer associated with Hungary and the latter with Poland.one of the most indisputable Romanian successes. the modem age. Even a more recent textbook claimsnonchalantly that theRomanians putforward a it is well known that therewere singlerevolutionaryprogram in1848. It is certainthat i 1848 not onlyRomanians and n Hungarians.while underlining. in the historical context. in Cornelia Bodea produced a skillful and attractive demonstration of the unitary character of the politics of 1848 (and even well-defmed project of the political the preceding period). being In subsequent decades Dobrogea wasRomanianized by anexceptional action of colonization and development of the territory. the insistence B5lcescu-the of great historian of national unityl-n establishing ties close between the Romanian and Hungarian revolutions.lg In schooltextbooks. In thecase of Transylvania. those of the Banat. The three revolutionsMoldavia. shown as by the dramatic Dragog-Buteanu episode in the Apuseni mountains. which could only result in the sacrificing not only of union. from Iagi to Lugoj and from Blaj to Bucharest.the only criterion was chronology. without anylogical connection. There followed. union with Wallachia Moldavia.therevolutionary phenomenon of 1848endedup by being completely homogenized and presented to pupils in such a way that they could no longer understand anything.theprincipalissue from the point of view of the Romanians was autonomy within the Habsburg Empire. in Wallachia. which were themselvesstill and not united. leaving l the less convenient facts to one side (for example. Not only could there be no question of unity. could be maneuvered all the more easily. but it is “not the done thing” to talk . and certady not. coalesced in the image of a Romanian consensus. It was a remarkable success. Here the Romanians were in the minority1878 in (a nkztive majority of the population Muslim). Vague suggestions in the documents. and finally those of the ‘Wungarian” regions (Crigana and Maramureg) had different aimsandtactics. and the text shifted.. they were in fact integratedinto divergent political systems. there could beno form of political coordination either.when several. Already 1967.18 If the Middle Ages could be “resolved” in such a way. The year 1848 can provide us a with good example. however. but even of the autonomyof Transylvania).20 The case of Dobrogea is likewise significant.

from one for example. the synthesis of a regionallife of the period around 1800someparameterssuggest a remarkablediversity. more than evident that theRomaniansvotedifferently county to another and even more differently from one historical region to another. Trans.the is very pronounced definition of two distinct zones. only in the northeast of the country! A no less spectacular initiativewas the “re-baptizing” of the principalities. stdl divided by the former border . of the names of the regions. in a study published by Pave1 Chpeanu. or rather uniformity. * Taw hm2nemcZ the usual Romanian name for Wallachia. Why was onlyWallachiacalled “the RomanianLand”?”Werethe other landsanyless Romanian? Thus some historians began refer to to the Romanian Land of Muntenia$* Romanian the Land of Moldavia. it could rainas much as it liked. Not only did they all have to be Romanian: they had to be called Romcmian. French historiography in recentdecadeshasembarked on regionalstudies. It is. even in today’s Romania. but not in Moldavia. can no longer be sacrificed on the altar of a national ideology aiming at uniformity. and the Romanian Land sf Transylvania. for it to rain in Moldavia. or at best their disguising under titles like The Romanians ofthe Sozhwest o f t h e Coadntty rather than The Romaniam ofthe Banat. stands here for the whole principality. What is actually striking. somewhat unexpected. by a decision of the propaganda section of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. especially following presidential the elections of 1992. The culminating point was the elimination from weather bulletins. Tram. not to mention past centuries. ** Muntenia. Historians canbe patriots without falsifjing the past.thereis not eventhe most summary distribution by counties historical and provinces.21) Real history.142 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS about it. often hesitate to take into account the regional structures of the phenomena they are studying. all since Romanian territories have Romanian. and the snow hadtorespecttheunity of Romania. since the dawnof history. The myth of unity.They ought toberesearched and inventoried no less systematicallythantheelements of unity. the rain. After long being marked by a centralizing politicalnational and ideology. for example.22 in which the national elections of 1990to1992areminutelyanalyzed. whether historians or sociologists. with the infinite diversity of its manifestations. bringing to light another. Even the wind. The final phase-at least in the conmunist variant-of the myth of unity took the form of a ban on the publication of regional studies and syntheses. must been without interruption. A whole line of Hungarian princes had ruleda state which was ‘now called the Romanian Landof Transylvania! In fact.(For greater distance between the various Frenchd@adements than between France seen as a whole and the rest of the world. is so strongly imprinted in Romaniaan culture that even specialists.Fromthis point of view the case of France-so often invoked in so many contexts in a Romania that remains Francophone andFrancophile-isinstructiveandworthfollowing. and yet. . regional differences are prominent. It was no longer permitted. the dominant region of Wallachia. France.

a political manipulation through history. whether conscious or not. and mental reference points. but in not a few cases they are outdone by the school.butnot theonly one. but I wonder how many would dare today to say openly what was common knowledge in schools in pre-communist Romania.In fact. ’fie Romanian nation of today is certainlyunitary. the “spirit of the peoples” made a profound mark on the Romantic ideologyof the first half of the nineteenth century. and apart from what is. each animatedby its own spiritualand moral characteristicsand marked by . models. but it is not uniform. not peoplecapable of an independent judgement of the world and events. centuries. The differenceswhichpersist. and especially with middle-level professionals (inour case teachers in pre-university education). It was the period when the world was cut up into national. military service. local The national dimension is one significant outcome. historical any or sociological phenomenon can andshould be represented and analyzed at the level. when the real vocation of history is precisely the exercise of intelligence. bibliographical references do not tellus everything. Apart from the question of untruth. IN SEARCH OF THE ROMANIAN SOUL If the Romanians have always been a united nation. Electoral geography is only one example. Unfortunately. direct contact with people. that MichaeltheBrave’sactiondid not origmate in national sentiment. their pupils do no more than memorize an endless litany. their ideal over the. education. An exaggeration “patriotic” seems in terms more convenient. ideological. Political options reflect a multitude of values.theyfeel that thiswaythey are covered. administration. spaces. highlight the precariousness of interpretations which see nothing but unity 500 or 2. not even patriotic sentiments can truly be cultivated by a stereotypic and unconvincing discourse. From Herder onwards. The identification of aspecific national qint illustrates one of the most significant manifestations of themyth of unity. was unity. and cultural. after a number of factors inevitably hrthering uniformity have been at work for several generations (political power. History seems to have remained with the objective of trainingpatriots.Romanian a way of being.500 years ago. namely.Romanian a soul. economic mechanisms). this means that there existsbeyond the flow of the centuries and the vicissitudes of history-a Romanian dimension of existence. The history textbooks are as they are. Of course. there is a serious vice concealed here: lack of responsibility. However.UNITY 143 between Romania and Austria-Hungary (with hrther divisions within these zones which also merit comment). illustrates even more clearly the relative success of a political strategy for which history was no more than an instrument. than entering the uncertain ground of a critical and intelligent history. not all history teachers indulge in this sort of discourse. Pupils hear from some of their teachers that the “golden dream” of the Romanians.Regardless ofwhat theyreallybelieve. Teachers “ k n ~ that it is best to tell it this ~” way.

It is sufficient to know (and the psychology of peoples offers quasi-certainty in this respect) what the Romans were like. How was it possibletoexplaintheactualinferiority of theRomanians in the nineteenth century (in relation to the West)? Through what historical circumstances or what flaws in the national soul? What stock of qualities. which more often than not divided them and only rarely allowed them tounite. The inner chemistry of the Romanians. and demonstrates an attempt at “objective” research and at the systematic construction of a field of enquiry. It was a time when it seemed that nothing would remain outside the scope of a complete and perfect scientificexplanation.careless of death and animated by a spirit of freedom and independence. in and both these manifestations being rooted in their soul from the cradle. Finally. impulsive. it of ccscientific” is a firstsynthesis of the matter.courageous.144 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS its own destiny. a hture to match their brilliant origins?It is certain that for a century and a half. the Romanians have beenin a state of continual agitation. from the beginning of the process of “entering Europe”. taken has and combined spiritual elements characteristicof the ethnic groups which participated in the creation of the Romanian synthesis. not forgetting the Frenchmen Fouilleand Boutmy. especially French. as both were inherited . A publication of 1907. Having an iron will. embarked on the delicate taskof defining the psychology peoples.they must havebeen daring beyondmeasure.ittakesadvantage literature. on the other hand. in phase of a predominantly critical discourse. and what the Slavs were like. A wholerange of complexeswerealso at play. In the second half of the nineteenth century this hypothesis was taken further. the characteristicswhichmadethemresembleeach other anddistinguished them from the others. to in spite of the lack of sources. As a nation whichhad come late to unity (in spite of the mythological discourse of an originary unity). Secondly. Thus theGermansLazarus and Steinthal around 1860 and Wundt around1900. which. the Romanians the to the feltneed defineelements of this unity. In the first place. stubborn. and very much in the spirit of the 1900s. Driighicescu’s method is simple and clear. on the issue of the %ational spirit”. Driighicescu assures us. brought back life. or at least influenced it. is of importance from several points of view.changeful. the we still. sometimes outof control. are here. sometimes selfcontrolled. although starting from the inborn qualities of the nation. were then “rough and violent. trying establish their own to image and their place in European spirituality. Our ancestors. deals unsparingly with its accumulated defects and proposes a diagnosis and a therapy to get out ofthe impasse. Dumitru Driighicescu’s Fmm the Pgcbodogy of tbe Romanian Peoph. what the Dacians were like. in the attempt to set it on the solid basis of science. by the pure mechanism of psychological laws.Accordingtothecircumstancestheycouldbe disciplined and organized or lacking discipline anarchic. and by combining these sources we have before us the Romanians of the tenth century. could be thrown into the scales of history to put things right andensure a future better than the present. of The themecould not fail to attract theRomanians. he considers.

Their imagination must have been among the richest. Turkish and Greek influence. smooth. lack of offensive energy [.inthegreaterpart. physical and mental laziness. in Driighicescu’s work. lack of self-confidence. undigested. passive. but notbeyond repair. What we learn from the proposed reconstruction is not so much what the Romanians were like as what it means really to believe in science..” The influence of the Orient. at least not everyone can boast of superior intelligence. fine which have and above all their inteLhgeme. and un-homogenized. whence the powerful effect of foreign influences and “the lack of a distinct. unitary. in a science which can givean answer without hesitation to every question youask it. but accumulated over the centuries. Beyond any doubt the Romanians considerable have assets at their disposal-the qualities they inherited. seriously alteredby the vicissitudes of history it is true. Driighicescu underlines “passivity. Their defects were few at the beginning. like the language they speak. and clear character of Romanian mentality.. and above all fatalism.. fear. have altered the characterof the Romanians. blind belief in luck. Apparentlyfewpeoplesenjoysuch a complexintelligence. daring. had its foundation and starting point a material of superior essence: the Roman mentality. and the poetic gift of the Slavs.I The mentality of the as Romanians. that is. lack of initiative.The chance of spiritual regeneration liesin the transformation of institutionsandsociety along thelines of theWestern model. and especially the loss of independence. beaten and resistance.UNITY 145 from the different ethnic groups. certainly it was lively. and sparkling. In history this appears to us as a great reservoir to which all the peoples of Europe came and deposited part of As the contents of their ~0ul. resigned.” At the same (and time contrary his project to own of defining a national individuality) detects he “the lack of a distinct. and lack of courage have dominated.I. Even if laziness is not praiseworthy. at that time.. in fate”. generally unintended. unassimilated. The intelligence of the Romanians. with a lively and ingenious intelligence. [. as has its coordinates “unconcern. of fragments and patches borrowed from the neighboring peoples. and homogeneous unfolding of our past”. or “lazy but intelligent”. must have been rich. paralysis of the will.. defensive. resignation. . Timidity.25 The formula “intelligent but lazy”.”a A thousandyearslaterthereis shortage of humor. with which we might simplify Driighicescu’s demonstration into a few words. indeed provides a clichewhichmanyRomaniansacceptwith a mixture of resignation and pride.. This combines the open and lively temperament of the Dacians. and a rather powerful generalizing spirit.Attheir birth the Romanians “must have been a people with a very open and very rich mind. subject. harmful overall.I The content of our ethnic soul is madeup. the Romanians seem to be composed of exceptional stuff. the generalizing and abstract spirit of the Romans. [.”24 a people of synthesis. with a sense of generalization and of organization an and inclination to observation which no resulted in humor andmocking satire. and still dominate the soul of the Romanians.

on the green mane of the mountains. According to Blaga. whichmarks a clear separFtion from theCatholic and Protestant West and thus from theWestern * Miorific adjective from “Mion$?’. the central element of which is the phi (“a high. It is worth noting not only their disagreementbut also the point where. the well-known Romanian ballad of the shepherd and the ewe lamb.itonly permits a metaphorical or metaphysicalformulation... descending gently into the valley”). as for Nichifor Crainic. [. untiring.This is in factthesense of historical evolution. it is above time. and the later interwar autochthonist currents. there is “an inalienable stylistic matrix of our ethnic spirit7’. continued along the line of this assumed Romanianism. Vasile Pogor and Mihai Eminescu. characteristics of the Romanian which soul.146 HISTORY AND MYTHROMANIAN IN CONSCIOUSNESS In any Driighicescu’s case. it blends with stylistic potencies which are creative. it manifests itself in time. however.. too. in which the former maintained the “barbarism” of the Romanians and the latter their specific destiny. The Romanians have their own specific genius: they are not Western and nor should they try to become Western. I have dready referred to the dialogue between the two Junimists so different from each other.I Sometimes smoldering but alwaysalive. an autochthonist interpretation of the Romanian spirit was already in existence and was carried forward on the nationalist waveof the years after 1900. Thus everything which contrasts with the Western spirit and behavior is a defect. from the roll call of ancestors.I Our tradition is by itsnaturemoreinvisible. life. magnificent as in the as first day. In opposition to the European and Francophile Driighicescu. Criticisms. What is there to criticize. from the chronicle of deeds. The Romanian appears more profound and more open to cosmic essences than the Westerner: “In the West. defines the demonstration. faded away.”26 For Blaga. theyfundamentallyagree:theRomaniansare on themargins of history-only what Pogor took as a subject for sarcasm was accepted with pride by the great poet.. “Semiinitorism”. The Romanians must move in the direction of a spiritual formula of Westerntype. Lucian in Blaga. in a sense. correspond to a well-defined geographical framework. argumentation as has its firm reference point Western values and especially the French spirituality that he considered to be their highest expression. Nae Tonescu. [. In the course of an indisputably seductive The Miomtic Space* (1936). The historical and social determinants which we find in Driighicescu-albeit in a debatable and simplistic manner-faded before an atemporal Romanian soul. although. suggestive of an undulating landscape suitable for pastoral Tram. measured by our ephemeral horizon. but just want to remain Romanians? The most elaborated form of the discourse of Romanianism is provided by the nationalist Right of the 1930s. if that is the way we are? What is there to criticize if we do not want to metamorphose into Westerners anyway. the nationd spirit is identifiedsubstantially with Orthodoxy. open land. from the ancestral gallery. Our tradition is more atemporal. tradition is a matter of the pedantic acquisition of a past. . and Mircea Vulciinescu.

there is no alternative.lack of fearin the face of death. I say ccremarkable7’.r. as i dor d n e (Yhornesickness’~. as Greek Catholics. it often has connotations of melancholy. The only condition for having the specific is to be an ethnic Romanian. The case of George Cilinescu is particularly remarkable.) Not everyone who wants to can be Romanian. Even “our physical type is quite different from that of the neighboring peoples and those of Central Europe”. there is no imperative.UNITY 147 modelsinvoked by the precedinggeneration. (At least it was better than not being Romanians at all!) All these thinkers identified a Romanian spirituality that was clearly outlined and above all perfectly distinguishable from that of the “others”. he insists on the existence of a distinct Romanian rme. who has suddenly become an anthropologist too. and i an essay entitled ‘The Romanian Dimension of Existence” he defines no n less than seven hndamental and specific attitudes: there is no non-being. This ideological divergence did not. .existencewhich initsentiretyflows towards Lsometlling’. Tr/m. “As the specific is a structural element. in other words a loyal Romanian. and Blaga maginalized. however. according to Ciilinescu. it is not acquired by conformityto a canoniclifestyle.27 The Transylvanians who had launched the national movement were thus.andtheRomanianspace a distinct and homogeneous entity. and apparently one contaminated by the racial theories of the time. of course more profound andmore complexthanhisfellows. there is no absolute impossibility. you are born Romanian. suggests Blaga. but to be Romanian. The first phase of communism did not want even to hear of such heretical interpretations. Nae Ionescu proposed a subtle dissociationbetweenthe concepts of “Romanian”and“goodRomanian”. there is nothing irremediable. claims the critic. only “good Romanians”. without any other attribute. aspirationacrosshorizons.29 The intellectuals of the interwar period were quite simply obsessed with the %ational specific”. Existence is sometbiq d f n t fortheRomanians.”3~ So the Romanian has become a very different being. All the historian has to do is to follow the intimate fibersof the autochthonous s0ul. for “philosophical” * Doris usually translated as CUSZ ‘longing”.lightness intheface of life. the as illustrious literary historian had no sympathy the with ideology of the nationalist Right. and you are born a certain way. In concluding his Hirtoty o Romanian Literatan f (1941). illustrating the remarkable expansion of the clichi of Romanian unity. one had to be Orthodox. It might be argued that Mircea Vulciinescu (who died in prison) and Nichifor Crainic were imprisoned.7y28 Mircea Vdcinescu does not hesitate to speak about Romanian man. West.by the untranslatable word do?: “Existence for the Romanian is ‘dot’. A Roman Catholic could be a “good Romanian”. (Unfortunately he doesnot sketch for usthephysical portrait of his“typicalRomanian”. prevent him from invoking similar concepts. especially the zen It might be defmed. purely and simply.

Ceaugescu sacrificed than more once on altar the of Romanian spirituality. experienced he forced domicile between 1949 and 1958. which been had . What interests us here.following the tradition of the interwar Right. We are well able to combine tradition with modernity. It is no less true. And this. tradition represents for us a still active factor. any definition of the Romanians as Romanian. could we not also mediate spiritually?” Moreover. Sipficantly however.. Neither the one nor the other put its seal on us. which confers on us “ a greatermeeting than otherswith the vahes of the Spirit. has an air of poverty. and prison from 1958 to 1964. however. is not his subtlety multisidedness. and of Romania as a privileged place and mediating factor betweenthe civilizations of the globe. as wellas out of strictly political motives. neo-positivist the perspective of the Western with world.wasthedefinition.Romanian understanding appears more open. had to bestamped out. of a specifically Romanian spiritual perimeter. Any nationalist tendency in philosophy. without exception positive. The key to historical and cultural phenomena was class.”32 Suchviewscanbeexpressedin a quitedifferentideologicalregister to the communist one-they in fact correspond substantially to the right-wing discourse of the 1930s. Of course not everythingcould be rehabilitated:the Orthodoxdimension of Romanian spirituality was too divergent official from ideology. Indeed..”31 The Romanians are neither Western nor Eastern. his Autochthonists and partisans of opening towards the West could both claim him as their own. Having been close to the extreme Right at thebeginning of his career. evidentlyin a manner rather rudimentary than subtly philosophical.148 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS reasons. class spirit and not national spirit. starting in 1970. The MionXc Space was reissued in 1969 and 1985. richer: “Compared with the complex and fairy-like being of our vision. Once agam. in a period of progressiveisolation of Romania. They lie between these two worlds and can be a unifying bond: ‘We are between the Near and Far East [. Things changed with the shift of communism in the direction of nationalism. just as we mediate geographically. corresponds to the ideological shift and the new strategy of the authorities. its ‘forgetting’ of being. of the combination of tradition and modernity. more nuanced. but. Romanian but also European in nature. The destiny of Constantin Noica seems to me to be even more characteristic. or else the reappraisal of being in other philosophies. Vulc5nescu’s already-mentioned essay “The Romanian Dimension of Existence”. and butwhat the official ideology was prepared to tolerate and even to use in his discourse. that Ceaugescu himself could have felt at home with the idea of Romanian uniqueness. his Romanian Senh’ment of Being (1978) develops.I and the West. which has been eroded for others “by the number of past centuries”. and Blaga was not only rehabilitated but set among the great names of Romanian letters. in a much more elaborated manner. however. not nation. For example. His “recovery”. Noica wasbeyond doubt a complexfigureand a complexthinker. He liked to list the characteristics.

‘(the rational spirit.-R. can also be expressed openly. it is possible to say anything about the Romanians. For an exegete of Romanian culture like Dan Zamfirescu the Romanians are inscribed among the world’s great creators of civilization. Not all Romanians speak alike. on the one hand. opinions. Anyway. singlemasters of theirlifeanddestiny”. rather asaJ2w’dsynthesis of diverse features. Can the Romanians be considered more intelligentthan other people. the will not to bow down before any foreigner. The Romanian language is certainly an important factor of cohesion.nationalistexacerbation continues toexerciseits appealunrestrained.onlytheidentification of a specifically Romaniangenewouldenableustomaintaintheessentialindividuality of the Romanians among the other peoples of the world.Thus the Romanian people had preserved “from the Dacians the unextinguished thirst for liberty. We might say that the first characteristic of the Romanians-if we venture define to one too-is the obsession with their own identity. A “Romanian specific” may be approximated to. And whatever issaidcanbejust as easily accepted or contested. any more than they can be considered less intelligent. how could we seriously calculate the intelligence quotient of a nation? According to current scientificnorms.35 A FLUID SYNTHESIS As we have seen. Not all Romanians think dike.whileonthe other hand. While is there undoubtedly a Romanian phenomenon. but not as an originary and transcendent given. accumulated frustrations. for example? Of course not. In the end.34 while at the other extreme. or about any other people. it is not biopsychological in nature but springs from sociocultural structures and evolutions.andfromtheir other ancestors. even if they think in the same language. as in the essays of H.33 of The operation of identifying ‘<what it means tobe Romanian” seems to be far from having exhausted its resources and arguments. even if they all speak Romanian. in which the Romanians are defined as a people without backbone and of an inferior spiritual quality. If there isnowadays a particularRomanianway of being (aclaim . It can neverbe a question of “scientificinvestigation”. all the ethnopsychological approach does is toisolateandhighlightgeneral human qualities and defects. judgement. Since 1989 we have seen a polarization of the discourse.even downright unfavorable. In recent times massivesocial restructuring and theaction of thenationalorganism upon its component elements been have continually modeling remodeling and the Romanians. Ethnic psychology is a tempting exercise but completely without substance. the and inevitable comparison with the balanced and performing civilization of the West can generate no less passionate appreciations. but only of impressions and judgements which are inevitably partial and subjective. the determination to remain always themselves. and creative passion the Romans”.lessfavorable. Patapievici.UNITY 149 inherited from the Romans and the Dacians alike. on condition that we do not absolutize its virtues. the reaction against such selfeulogies.

then communism-went farthest in the direction of a fictive (and even. through the modeling power of public opinion. The nation is too large and too in thepsychologicallaboratory. The “psychology of the Romanian people” was based on the extrapolation of certain elements of traditional civilization (themselves made uniform andhighlysimplified).150 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS which can only be accepted with considerable reservations). or Chinese. of the Romanian spirit? Do we really encounter the same elements of civilization the mentality and same from Bukovina to Teleorman? Thetotalitarian ideologies-first the extreme Right.36 and From the psychological point of view. then this is not due to any innate disposition but to a series of acquired habits. at least between the great provinces. While Ibriiileanu put a special accent on historical social and determinants. theclassiccasebeing that of the opposition between Moldavia and two distinctive Muntenia. he claimed that the Moldavians. The impact of communism isrevealing from this point of view.Letus consider a single generation of classic writers: Maiorescu. Lovinescu in The Histoy of Modern Romanian CiviXxation. French. Garabet Ibriiileanu maintained that there were spiritualities. and Caragiale. or uniquely representative. and ultimately“racial”. Its domination left a profound mark on Romanian spirituality. the Moldavians and Muntenians can thus appear as two distinct nations. at least in comparison with .’ole m d usehl. areinclinedtopoeticcreation”. if wc want it to Li. must be limited to welldefined segments with a minimal level of coherence. and so on. Muntenians directed the have their activities more onto the grounds of politics economics”. Due to half a century of communism. in his book The Cn’tical Spirit in Romatzian Ctllttl~(1909). comprehensive and practical character. the Romanians are different than they were fifty years ago.while“bytheirmobile. Which of them-so different astheyarefromeach otller-can be considered representative. materialized) making uniform of the Romanian space. Group diverse a conglomeratetobeexamined psychology. This is the “danger” of ethnic psychology: you can prove anything with it-the inconsistency of the Romanian nation just as much as its homogeneity. Moldavian and Muntenian.Fromthis point of view the persistence here of certain traditional rural structures.theissue is predominantlysocial. the most summary glance at Romanian culture illustrates the fact that the much-trumpeted national spirit (if we insist on invoking it at all) can only be the product of highlydiverse“sectional”characteristics. In any case. Creangi. Starting from the concept of “race”. through the action of dominant ideologies. Other interpretations. In fact. Lovinescu saw the issueinpurelypsychological. through schooling. up to a point. Eminescu. have not been shy of drawing dividing lines. The typical Romanian intellectual iscertainlycloser to European intellectualsingeneral than to the Romanian shepherd in the mountains or the fisherman in the Delta (and this is just as valid for other categories). in contrast. terms. “by their contemplative nature. We are born as human beings and then “learn” to be Romanian. plaus. infused through cultural contexts. as did E.

many Jews in Moldavia.eachwithits own spiritual. an important mass. uniform. cut off from tradition but not yet integrated modernity. which upsets the schema of ethnic specificity.substantially civilization:theurbansector. the intermediary zone between peasant culture and truly urban culture. by the mabah saw a massive expansion in the communist years (albeit under the new guise of districts of towerblocks)asaresult of forcedindustrialization and migration into the towns. of the mahaw. so massively in present modem Romanian history. which have their source in history and evolve according to its rhythms. the members of which have long ceased to be peasants without becoming townspeople in more than a formal sense. with the other dimension of Romanian it is true. The towns. the mabala. populated for a long time by other ethnic elements (Hungarians and Germans in Transylvania. zenb It is noticeable that this rural civilization was contrasted not only with the rest of the world but also. or will ever be. But they will not disappear. The village. but it is Romanian in a dzfeerent way.UNITY 151 the dynamic and highly urbanized civilization of the West. encouraged the illusion of a Romania d f n t composed and with a different historical destiny. ethnic psychologyis not something given from the origins. and behavioral configuration. etc.) were taken out of the equation by the theoreticians of the national spirit. and stillless Europe as a whole. This disoriented population. continues and to represent. differences are the between Romanian the and Western profiles will be attenuated. but a fluid amalgamof varied attitudes and behaviors. that the things which bring us closer each other to will prove stronger than those whicb separate us. however. Between the rural and urban poles we might add the category. As European integration proceeds and the social structures modernized. After being x-rayed Caragiale at the end of the last century. Neither the West nor the Romanian space is. vulnerable to political and electoral maneuvering. or . Their synthesis is no less Romanian than the rural synthesis. and the urban nucleus maybeseenas“idealtypes”. We may hope. indeed primarily.whichwere. To conclude. The only condition is that we do not forget that within models these diversity reigns. which we think separate us. but beyond that they cannot be reduced to a single human type. in represented. The Romanians are Romanians. cultural.

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exceptional. The cosmopolitan town thus fitted into the predominantly rural structure of Romanian society and it certainly * A word suggestive of a complex of traditional virtues: humanity. To be human. and could not be. Tram generosity. to which “others”. etc. it is not the Romanian as such who is particularly hospitable. bring diverse and necessary attributes of civilization. are less hospitable than their compatriots in some village lost in the mountains. two characteristics of Romanian history have contributed to the placing of the other in a specific light: on the one hand. They are characterized to the highest degree by ommi@. Traditional civilizations “hospitable”.. In fact. the reactions of a rural and somewhat isolated civilization.. and not just the Romanian peasant but the peasant in general. and roles the whether peasants or boyars. The contradictory and complementary action of these two factors led has to a synthesis bearing clear marks of originality. came to mean practically the same thing as to be Romanian. Romanians areby nature hospitable and tolerant. kindness. only fulfilled to a small extent. a word which was heavily stressed and amplified in recent decades (a process not unconnected to the isolationist tendencies of the communist regime) until it concentrated an almost limitless range of meanings. and for a long time fulfilled they economic social which Romanians. According to the national mythology. are Townspeople. However. including Romanian townspeople. but the Romanian peasant. The game of “alterity” is an archetypal structure. without merging into it completely. In this respect the Romanians are not. .and on the other. the massive and uninterrupted impact of foreign rulers and models. which already was highlighted in the century last by various Romanian authors. Foreigners settled especially in the towns. Tolerance. likewise arises naturally from the needs of a rural civilization.” ARE The ‘‘other” is an omnipresent figure in the imaginary of any community. in the full sense of the word.CHAPTER FIVE The Romanians and the Others “HETO WHOM FOREIGNERS D EAR.

regardless of ethnic composition. However. Remaining within the same system references it ha.this did not happen). Up until the Second World Mar an anti-urban mythology was manifested in a whole range of ideologies and projects. the more pleasant one. The Romanian who came back from the West after 1989. theBulgarians and Serbsare stupid (“A greenhorseand a S e r b .1 In fact we find a fundamental rejection. in dl senses.o r Bulgarian-with brains. a society becomes.countries in a similarsituationtoRomania. the illusion was maintained that this was a temporary state of affairs which would end the return of those who had in left. For the Rommians. you never did see”). still less integrated. or is felt be to harmful. Indeed. Moreover. Even when large numbers of Transylvanian Romanians began to emigrate to the United States around 1900. It has likewise been claimed that the Romanians do not leave their country and cannot bear to live i n a different environment.s of often been claimed that the Romanians do not marry foreign partners (as we have seen. The . these terrible words only express the other side of what is essentially a coherent type of behavior. of relations with the other. the Greeks are also stupid. (ln Poland and Hungary. who “hadn’t eaten soyasalami”. foreigners more often appear inan unfavorable light. stands out by the fact that it is special. it would be incorrect to isolate it from a whole complex of attitudes. The more open and urbanized. it can turn to intolerance as soon as the function fulfilled by the foreigner no longer seems necessary. Such an evolution canbeseen both inthenationalist current of the 1930s and in the nationalism of the Ceaugescu period. and haughty. Westerners seem less “welcoming” than Romanians precisely because for them the notion of the foreigner has undergonea de-dramatization. who reflect a system of values other than that generally accepted or imposed. as a true Romanian. the less the foreigner attracts peculiar interest: he is no longer a special case. In any traditional civilization the foreigner is perceived with maximum intensity. There is no disputing traditional Romanian hospitality. It reflects the treatment of the foreigner as foreign. Hospitality is only one side. it already puts us on the alert: to be tolerated is not necessarily to be accepted. We have seen that for Nae Ionescu the non-Orthodox Romanian was not quite Romanian. embracingall those. bad. In the “traditional” opinion of the Romanians. butas a tolerated foreign body. “foreign” is a generic term. the Hungarians are boasthl and fearll. by a far from negligiblesection of theRomanian population. A special behavior towards the foreigner. sometimes lamentably so. Petru Maior and Mihail Kogilniceanu saw in this rehsal the illustration and guarantee of Romanian purity).was not acceptedas a Romanian. while the Armenians are dirty. m e n Eminescu exclaims “He to whom foreigners are dear / Let the dogs eat his heart”.154 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS played its part in the Romanian synthesis. Folklore provides plenty of examples. to which tolerance is no more than the complement. The distinction between us and others is felt strongly. rude. While tolerance is laudable in itself. whether good or bad.communist regime only dramatized the“us/others” distinction even . for better or worse. or variously greedy. and thus the more cosmopolitan.

Many succeeded in emigrating even before 1989. or in the Transylvanian case in the Hungarian space and more generally in that of Central Europe. perturbed by too much openness. real up to a point but hyperbolized in the national imaginary. to observe that. An apparentlyminor. and certainly more realistic. but typical. The history of the Romanians is understood in strictly conflictual terms. in contrast to the discourseof a few years ago: the manipulation of the “Ilie Nktase myth” in the spring of 1996. and resistance manifested on. What was foreign. history chooses and forgets. The Romanians who “didn’teatsoyasalami’’are starting to be rehabilitated. someone who has made a fortune intheWestislikely to be seen as a positive figure.ucomplex which is so typical of the Romanian mentality of the last two centuries. and once they were over. and after that year Romania provided the largest contingent emigrants. but DEFENDERS THE WEST OF The pressure of foreigners from outside and from within. The authorities do not hesitate to recommend some of these to public opinion. in relation to of its population. the Romanians began.withhissuccessintheWest emphasized more than his sporting glory. As time goes on they will become less ‘%ospitable”. as a continuous struggle for ethnic and state survival.THE ROMANIANS AND THE OTHERS 155 more (whether it was a matter of others within or others from outside). is a characteristic example.integrating. the privileged role of “hereditary enemy” was taken up by Hungary. beyond the Romanian-Ottoman and RomanianHungarian antagonism. The stifling nationalist discourse proved its “virtues” by producing the contrary effect to that which its creators had bankedon. Gradually the Romanians are becoming Europeanized. in Europe. Such a de-dramatization the Romanian past of and and its treatment in a structural manner.Renowned for their attachment to their native land. comes up against tenacious prejudice and the remarkable functionality of the myth of the . But nor was the opposite tendency completely lacking. meets with an opposite process of getting to know. But there are significant evolutions in the opposite direction. to dream of going abroad.Some reactions are still those of a traditional society. The reactionwasalwaysin proportion tothepressure. the dramatization of relations with others. less event-centered warlike. At present. took on connotations of maximum alterity. too.rigedf0rtn. the removal from the Penal Code of sanctions which are in any case useless has been seenby many as a campaign to promote homosexuality and another good excuse to demonize the perverted West.theRomanianlandswere integrated for centuriesin the Ottoman system. It would be just as correct. partly inherited but to a large extent cultivated by the communist and post-communist authorities. The “struggles against the Turks” were powerfully imprinted on the national consciousness. As always. including Romanians “contaminated” by foreignness. indeed. also less “scared”in the face of foreignness. amplifies and minimizes. generated thebe. example the is endless discussion of. in increasing numbers. the issue of homosexual rights.andaccepting.

The image of a West protected thanks to Romanian sacrifice and a Romanian society strained and held back by llfdling the function of defender of European civilization has become deeply ingrained in the political vision of the Romanians. Whatever goes badly in Romania does not result from any wrong orientation or bad management on the part of the Romanians. Britianu on 25 February 1879: ‘We were the advance guard of Europe from the thirteenth century until very recently. who was little tempted by nationalist mythology and demagogy. Anyone who looksat a map can immediately see (sRomanian a historians seem not to have done for a long time) that the Turkish advance into . C. asour historians have said. new images projected inserted were and into the national consciousness.a weakening of the offensive power of the Turks. In any case. justifying their birzton>a[hzte-coming in terms of the sacrifices imposed by ceaseless aggression. The European stateswereabletodevelopthenbecause others sacrificed themselves in order toshelterthem. according to the principle: “You can say anything as long as it is patriotic. The Romanians should receive. we were the bulwark of Europe against the Asian invasions of the past. In view of this debt. P. and the others who did not rush to our aid when it was their duty to so. This fulfills the threefold mission of highlighting the virttle and heroism of the Romanians. The West has a debt which it has not yet repaid. but not enough to hold the Turkish forces on the line of the Danube for centuries. whichwasworndown by theresistance at the Danube. but things are fairly clear inthe case of the cathedrals. It is for this reason4espite the ancient remains of Romanian civilization-that we have only recently embarked on the way of modem civilization. This delay did not only mean. claims the following: “It is known that the Romanians delayed the Ottoman advance towards the center of the continent. do I quote from a speech delivered in Parliament by I. Romanian resistance was not continuous: a few episodes and phases can be picked out. with other weapons and another military orpization.156 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS s t r u d e for independence. these struggles only affected the flank of the Ottoman advance. It allowed Western Europe to take up the struggle at a much more favorable time. finally. Others go even further. claiming that this resistance even made possible the discovery of America1 As far as America is concerned there is not much to be said.” Thus the battle of Rovine-about which we know nothing for sure-is said to have saved the Westem world. In fact. and. Some teachers call up before their pupils the image of a West which. which were mostly built well before the foundation of the Romanian states. attracting the attention of the West to its debt cfgratitHde towards the Romanians who defendedit from the Ottoman onslaught. was able to erect its cathedrals precisely because the Romanians were fighting at the same time on the Danube. any failingof the West is perceived as betrayal. others are to blame-the others who preyed on us.”3 With the lack of responsibility characteristic of national-communist demagogy.”2 Even a historian like P. not give. in their behavior and their reactions. Panaitescu.

. Thiswas proved (if there was anything left to prove) by P. To say that history is pulling you down is incorrect. a diversion. as a permanentexcusefor fdures. P. while the level from which it started a fewdecadesagowasmuchlowerthan that of Romania. Byzantium boasted a civilization richer more and refined Westem than Europe.which some are tempted to set against tales of heroism and ceaseless s t r u d e . The struggles of the Romanians agdinst the Turks did not save the West. half a century later it had become one of the richest countries in the world. the East was more prosperous and dynamic than the West. substantially. the Romanians belong to an entire zone of Europe which has remained behind. of course. in the fact that the Turkish armies advanced .THE ROMANIANS AND THE OTHERS 157 Central Europe had nothing to do with Romanian the territories. It was not because the Romans had stolen the gold of Dacia that Romanians did not have enough to eat the structures were aberrant and the in the 1980s. in or. Neither the invocation of their ancestors nor reproaches addressed toothers will be of any use to them. South Korea is nowadays a great economic power. The divergent evolution of the West and the East is not to be explained by wars or foreign domination. but because communist economic policy misguided. Sweden was a country of peasants. a poor country with massive emigration.along the line Belgrade-Buda-Vienna. but the fact of foreign rule did not prevent social and material evolution. Quite simply. still less through Suceava. It was. History does not mark out a fatal pathway.divided andtom as it was. Romanians ought to sacrifice less on the altar of historical mythology. Panaitescu himself in his 1944 article ‘Why did the Turks not conquer the Romanian lands?” The answer to this question lies. Where it becomes a matter of blame. Around the year 1000. In antiquity. thus responding to one mythology with another mythology.At a time when the crucial is issue the construction of a Romania that performs effectively. and nor did they irremediably impoverish Romania. are they completely peripheral to its main axis. to put it more directly. is when this handicap starts to function asanalibi. The shortest road to Vienna did not pass through Tirgoviste. that they enteredthe modern periodwith a handicap is not something that calls for either praise or blame. At a certain point in the middle of the crisis of the Ceausescu regime someone started “calculate” to the enormoussums which foreign overlords owedRomaniaas a consequence of therobberytheyhad practiced throughout history. however. Nor is the backwardness of Romanian society to be explained terms of its inefficiency. Then everything swung the other way: the principal axis of history shifted towards the West. Around 1900. The Romanians were not in the “right” zone of Europe. from constructing a new technological civilization and becoming master of the world. There were dominated peoples in the West too.the‘laziness” of theRomanians. and then towards the Northwest. Wars stained the West with blood no less than the East. Buttheydid not preventit.

if we have discarded good old customs with ease. which was to be manifest for a number of decades and which can only partially be explained by the real circumstances of the Phanariot period and the revolutionary episode of 1821. or a handful of Greeks. The Greeks symbolized the East and several centuries of Oriental culture. If the public spirit here suffers from these same moral diseases. and the utter impoverishment of the Romanian population in both lands. a virulent and almost obsessive anti-Greek attitude crystallized. The separation from Turkey was self-explanatory. They were simply no longer needed. The first victims were the Greeks.158 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS SEPARATION FROM THE EAST The break with the East.”S So here we have the real culprits: the Greeks and only the Greeks! Around 1900. Overall. the Greeks were practically to disappear from the gallery of negative communities. the “Romanian specific”. however. took the form of a massive devaluing and inculpation of peoples and cultures which had hitherto offered the Romanians more models than motives of lameneation. then they have their origin in the moral rottenness of corrupt Byzantium. this anti-Greek fury began to die down.” The Greeks also left “something of their duplicity. Biilcescu set the tone in his article “The Romaniais and the Phanariots”. the stripping bare and alienation of Romanian fields. As the Turks were “other” in the strongest sense of the word they seemed less harmll than the Greeks. In 1898 Iorga delivered and published a lecture under the title Romanian Cuhn under the Phanan’ots.”4 Nor does Drgghicescu. appear much more conciliatory. in his attempt at a psychology of the Romanian people. in which he underlined the “sorry state” to which the latter had brought the country. something of their divisive perfidy. in which he attempted to rehabilitate the period. After 1821. and especially on the eve of the revolution of 1848. for with them we have been intoxicated by the Greeks who came here. It was the sign of a progressive normalization. their influence was disastrous. their lack of worth and their flattery coupled with the well-known sick pride of Byzantium. which had to be given up now in favor of the benign influence of the West. if we have lost provinces. the effects of which we still find it hard to bear today. for others. who were O&odox like the Romanians and had even infdtrated the Romanian ’ . with their envious and corrupt equivocation. for which the nineteenth-century elite opted. if corruption and cowardice have entered the classes of old Romanian society. Subsequently. He admits that the Romanian aristocracy became cultivated and acquired a dose of refinement through its contact with the Greeks. “The most strongly felt inheritances which the Greeks left us. in every case the source of these evils will turn out to have been a Greek. Eminescu had a phobia of Greeks: “And if the order and establishment of these lands has been upset. are the poverty and desolation of the country. or. however. Anti-Turkish attitudes were less vehemently manifested in this period. and Romanian-Greek relations in general. driven by the Turks from fallen Tsarigrad.

first the significant in stage the orientation of RomaniansocietytowardstheWesttookplace under Russian protection and guidance. Even if our ancestors had wanted to break with their lifestyle of unconcern. it is quite impossible to be active and energetic. and the expansionist tendencies of an empire which threatened to swallow up the Romanian space. Until almost the middle of the nineteenth century they were generally well regarded by the Romanians. all bear the stamp of a life of laziness and indolence. however. With long. Drighicescu especiallydenouncesthewideOriental garments that were adopted by Romanian boyars: “The Jbahuar.. of drowsy torpor and indolence. the Greek intermediaryseemedevenmoreguilty than the Turkish overlord. The Russians seemed well on the way towinningtheRomanians’hearts.I. the fault is that of the Turks. identify “the soul poison of the atmosphere of the Orient” whichwastransmittedtotheRomanians from the Ottoman source. which get in the way of. The 1848 generationset itself more against Russia than against Turkey. whch fed the chronicle of Romanian victories from the Middle Ages to 1877. Around1815. and paralyze. or the coat with wide short sleeves. as in 1877-78 and 1916-17. they appeared for a century and a half in the guiseof potential liberators. this clothing would have prevented and discouraged them. wide split sleeves.duringthetime of the R2ghment Organiqtle and the Kiseleff (1829-1834). one scarcely feels one is alive [. In it.What happened subsequently was quite the opposite. Indeed. proved .the Turks provided the elements of a series of images d&iina/.” If the Romanians are c‘la~y7y. they preferred to go direct to Paris. . to start something. “Every Turkish custom borrowed. In order to converse in French. to a life of sleep and light entertainment. Turkish domination and influencecouldonlybejudgednegatively. the Chmnogrqh of Dionisie the Ecclesiarch expresses anti-Western pro-Russian the and attitude of the “middleclass”:the good andChristian emperor Alexanderwasperceivedas a protective barrier against the anarchy generated by the French Revolution and the imperial ambitions of Napoleon. the Romanians no longer needed. Let us return to Drighicescu’s to text. This clothing is deliberately made so as to prevent any sort of activity and to accustom one to an empty life of unending rest and torpor.thejacketwith long floating sleeves over whichwas worn another jacket with split sleeves. and denounced both the R2ghment Organiqtce. As a believer in the principle of “the clothes making the man”. As protectors of Southeastern European Christianity. when Romanians came into adrmnistration of General contact with a SlavaristocracywhichexpresseditselfinFrench. as in 1830. Even collaboration with the Russians.. which. even if they had wanted to wake up and work. which was imposed at times by circumstances. the hands. which was seen as a barrier to progress.”b After the Greeks and the Turks it is the turn of the Russians to fall victim to the same attempt to escape from Eastern civilization. Aboveall. once again. but. the presence of Russian officers.which cause peoples to degrade and degenerate.THE ROMANIANS AND THE OTHERS 159 environment. as is well known. is a pair of verywidetrousers. every Turkish fashion imitated introduced into our ethnicsoultheseeds of corruption and idleness.

’ Annexed to it is the model of Belgium. as we have seen. and prosperous. But contacts with French culture prior to 1830 were sporadic and largely indirect. despite the relative survivalof Romanian Francophilia). and the expression “the Belgium of the East”. which comes ahead far of the other Western reference points. a replica of Belgium at the other end of continent. TheFrenchhad reached the highest point that other peoples will reach in an indefinite future: “As the nations of Europeacquire their definitive borders and their social life becomes elaborated and crystallizedwithinthepreciselimits of these borders. of course.”8 . and they cannot be equated. or even compared. by way of a subtle argumentation. When we speak of the Western model. which carry things to a point beyond which it would be hard to go (a point hard to imagine nowadays. This had. which offered Romania a French-style model that was in some respects better adapted to its own condition. neutral. illustrates an interesting political myth: the illusion of a Romania destined to become. In 1907 DumitruDr5ghicescu arrived. so their spiritual accomplishments will approach those of the French. the To see what the French meant Romanian myth in society. Romanian society. throughGreek and. and the immaterial substance of theirsouls willtake on theluminousclarity. a small country. was closer to the Russian than to the Western model). Once launched on the road of Westernization. monarchical. partially Francophone. The constitution of 1866 was an imitation of the Belgian constitution of 1831. its antecedents. withthescale of the phenomenon whichbroke out in the period between1830 and 1848. what is to be understood is first and foremost the French model. the great Latin sister in the West. Here are two of these. frequently used in the second half of the nineteenth century. being predominantly rural and highly polarized betweena rich aristocracy and a subject peasantry.in every respect. It is clear that the cultural orientation of Romania towardstheWest and inthedirection of detachment from the Slav context could only lead to an essential depreciation of the Russian model and of relations with Russia (in spite of the fact that. and the n disorganization of the front in1917). going back to Phanariot times. have we an impressive number of testimonies from which to choose. Russian even connections.the Romanian elite threw itself into the arms of France. MYTH THE FRENCH The ground thus cleared was rapidly taken over by the Fnnch myth.the smoothness and brilliance of the French mentality. at the conclusion that there was no nation on earth more perfect than the French nation and no intelligencemorecomplexthan that of the French. structurally speaking. democratic.160 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS frustrating and liabletounforeseenconsequences(theloss of the counties of southern Bessarabia the in 1878. lack of any support i 1916.

” This opinion.I and they wanted it only for the love of France. in 1853 to be precise. throughmassive largely the adoption of . Even the Romanian language underwent a considerable evolution under French influence. the words still remain as they are: “France”. Before French influence the Romanian lands “did not exist for civilization”. and Romania destined to become its ~ 0 h ~ y ... in De h’~ktencefian~ai. without the expenses which this “will have all the implies. and even if we treat the memorandum as a text written to further a precise political in aim the circumstances of the time. and callingfor entry into the war ‘pour voler au secours de la France’!”lo It was not invainthat Britianu had promised that (‘theRomanian army would be the army France”. a process of modernization leading to the elimination or marginalization of part of its Slav and Oriental component and to what might be called a “second Latinization”. he writes. You could not be intellectual an without a reasonable knowledge of French (which was a compulsory language in all eight years of highschooluntilthecommunisteducation reformof 1948). Thanks to France we can see “not the rebirth of a people. which could not be left to perish. while Oriental costume gave way to Parisian fashion. but its birth”. nor did they “exist for history”. The Romanian politician pleaded for the union of the principalities and sought to convince the emperor that this would be a “French conquest”: “The army of the Romanian state would bethearmy of France. starting immediately after 1830. for more than a century France would provide or influence training the of the greater part of the intellectualelite of thecountry. a generation.its ports on theBlackSea andthe Danube wouldbe entrepdts for French trade. or Michael the Brave. as if its fate lay within our power! In their sincerity they hardly mentioned Transylvania. But it is no less true that the French did myth play an important modeling Within role. permanently eliminating Greek. the making whole of the folk.French political. abandoning all the arguments of a national character which drove almost all of us to be against the Central Powers.THE ROMANIANS AND THE OTHERS 161 Half a century before this impressive characterization. I quote fromthememoirs of Constantin Argetoianu: ccLahovariand Cantacuzino”especial1y Cantacuzino-also wanted immediate entry into the war [. Young Romanians set out for Paris. I. 9 Even in 1914. Briitianu addressed a memorandum to Napoleon 111. by whichtimetherehadbeenconsiderable evolution in the direction of Romanian cultural and political autonomy. flagrantly exaggerated as it ‘is. French imposed itself as the language of culture.” France was “our second homeland”.” Britianu then goes even further.bears witness to the contemporary obsession with France. deeming that Romania should enter the war not to serve its own interests but to defend the threatened civilization of France. Pompiliu Eliade argued that Romania owed its whole modern civilization to France. of sar en At the end of the nineteenth century. a number of politicians still showed a visceral attachment to France. C.re L’e~ritpabh Rozlmanie (1898).juridical. advantages of a colony. and culturalstructures and institutionswere borrowed to a considerable degree.

a “Little Paris”. Britain remained a far-off exotic island. in its turn. antithetical and complementary: the German myth. who servedasministerplenipotentiaryin London from 1881 to 1890). It hasbeencalculatedthat 39 percent of current Romanian vocabulary consists of borrowings from French or has French as the first language of reference (the second being Latin). in as much asitcouldbeshifted. The German origin of KingCarol I and his . and illusion. In 1883 Romaniaadhered to theTripleAlliance structured around Germany and Austria-Hungary. to the achievement of national unity. Despite a number of Parisian-style buildings the decades from last of the nineteenth century. THE GERMAN “COUNTERMYTH” Of course. the end of this period Germany By had become a formidable competitor to France. The capital of Romania became. There is also the interesting case of Britain. and the spread the English language as of a medium of cultureandcommunicationcamelate@aradoxically. although clearly overtaken by French. also through their symbolic charge. exaggeration. under the Ceaugescu regime). at least until the interwar period. the other great Latin sister. German was the second language of education and culture (with eight years French and four of of Geman in school). greater the part of the population lived far from the French model. in the polarizing realm of the imagmary. Italy. For the Romanians in general. and than French Transylvanian intellectuals often read French authors in German translation. certain comers of theBucharest cityscape acquiredParisian a atmosphere. Bucharest as a whole does not resemble Paris.12 Thus in everyday speechone Romanian word in five is of French origin. but they can be counted on one’s fingers.just as ‘Dacia” and “Michael the Brave” contributed. The economic and political weight of the German Empire in Southeastern Europe was more significant than the relatively modest presence of France. The Romanians of Transylvania and Bukovinawerecloser to German culture mentality to civilization. which shifted Romania. However. In the Romanian kingdom. while relations with Spain remained sporadic.inthedirection of Westerncivilization. and that the frequency of such words in use is 20 percent. the “Belgium of the East” and “Little Paris” were powerful symbols. The position of Germany in Romania was continually consolidatedduring the half century leadingup to the First World War. On the other hand. on the other hand. by for example. Some Romanians were fascinated the British model (Ion Ghica. here too there is a mixture of truth. The French myth was so powerful that there was only room. for a single countemyth. The factors in its favor were far from negligible. As with any myth. It is worth noting that.162 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS neologisms of French origin. the West didnot just mean France. was the object of much less interest. Something of the Parisian lifestyle characterizedthebehavior of an and elite.

which was accused of superficiality and even frivolity. mythical evolutions are never univocal: every mythis closely stalked dominant for the by its countermyth. LikeMaiorescu.I German intelligenceremained has confused. Themost remarkable case.and the greatest Romanian poet. too. Renowned for its and rigor effectiveness. the disciplined reason and clarity of the French mind were opposed to German cramming: “[. and that couldonlybe Germany. Its admirers considered that. The German myth was the option of a minority.” (“Epistle 111”). is that of Carwale. who was disgusted at everything around him and all that happened during his visit .. now that the political effervescence of the mid-century was over. all belong within this current. For some. balanced. Latin consciousness and solidarity. they also looked sympathetically towards France.. German culture could offer solutions more appropriate to the aspirations of the Romanian nation than the French mentality.Hiswishwas to live in a civilized country. to the extentof admiring idealized the French model more than the concrete German model. P. however. Mihai Eminescu. with the characteristic polarization between enthusiastic reception and absolute rejection.”13 For others. Of course. Eminescu expressed himselfwithhisusualsincerity: “In Paris. chaotic. where he remained until the end of his life. Weare. of course. a politician of the stature of P. (Even if the majority of the Junimists-like any majority in Romania at the time-had been molded by French culture. and lucid intelligenceof the Frenchman. the national movement which inevitably came up agatnst German interests. harmonious. in the zone of highly mythologzed representations. O n French civilization. who. and tangled. it was the “Germanophiles” who set the tone of the movement. it was time for a new equilibrium and a better thought out and more organized effort.) A great cultural personality like Titu Maiorescu. while the French were not completely serious. part of the Romanian elite proved to be sensitive to the virtues of the German model.THE ROMANIANS AND THE OTHERS 163 indisputable prestige constituted an additional factor this in process of rapprochement. the Germans were solidly based.. especially and on the effects of Romanian contact with France.Eminescuhad a Germancultural education.. we can detect a certain slippage in the direction of the “other” model. this time from France towards Germany. After 1866. Carp. So whiletheGermanculturalmodelwas Romanians of Transylvania.. represented in the first place by the Junimea society.. which had a decisive say in the cultural and political evolution of the country towards the end of the nineteenth century. and the influence exercised by Romania. In Romania. at least in the imaginary. despite having no knowledge of German. [.in brothels of cynicism and idleness / With its lost women and in its obscene orgies. all contributed to a degree of equilibrium. His confrontation with the incurable Francophile Barbu Delavrancea. disordered. decided in 1904to settle in Berlin. but an influential minority. on the contrary. in the relationship between these two great Western points of reference.I the German does not have the ordered.

Just as it is beyond doubt that we respect and it admire Germany. as a youth and a mature man. seeking national unity. The past cannot be remade. and only eight in Germany. that I owe all that I have become in my country.theUniversity of Berlin. The gulf created by the war-in which Romania. but we may still ask ourselves how far this German influence would have gone if the First World War had not intervened to put decisive a stop to it.theposition of Germanyasamolder of Romanianelites continued to advance. was determined of course by strictly Romanian motivesinthefirstinstance.14 In 1891 Kogilniceanu did not hesitate to state. for all of us.Butas soon aswar broke out Iorga’s choice unequivocal. In 1892. it is for a third reason.theysay. Disciplines like philosophy. although has. they say. the non-diplomats. is a delicious anthology piece. but toacertainextentalso by a proFrench and pro-Latinsensibilitywhichnowcametolight. where that class is concerned.although it isnow. defeated by Germany.[. Before the war.. history. his “anti-French” action of 1906 (aimed in factat the protection of Romanian culture) had enhanced his not entirelydeservedreputationasa“Germanophile”. and themen and greatpatriots who accomplishedtheraising Germany again and its unity. for its national economy. when n France seemed almost beaten. the historian had been very close to the German historical school. defeated France. Kogjlniceanu. yes.”15 With his political flair. I But why do weloveFrance?Because our whole upperclasshasadoptedits fashions and luxuries? Perhaps. forty-two professors of the University of Bucharest had studied in France. after providing both Germanophiles and Francophiles with an occasion to manifest to the full their enthusiasm for one or other ofthe two competing models. Because we are Latins and we read in French? To a large extent. The intransigence displayed by Nicolae Iorga deserves comment. found itself in the opposite camp toGermanyandsuffered a oppressive German n occupation-made difficult it for relations to continue as before. Iorga writes: That we loveFrance isbeyond doubt.I have repeatedly borne witness to the fact that it islargely to German culture.164 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS to Berlin.for its political power.who really owed just as much to French as to German culture. a typical illustration of the Romanians’ view of the Western world. German up of society. What Russia does want? same The dominance in . sensed that the hour of Germany had come! Up until1914. to two to one.16 The ratio had gone from five to one. and geography already owed more to the German universities than to the French. What does Germany want? Dominancein Europe. It wasalreadythreateningFrenchsupremacyincertain areas. But above all. ‘Wly do welove France?” is the title of a article which he published on 17 August 1914. and that it was from the fire of German patriotism that the torch of my Romanian patriotism took its flame. in an address to the Academy. that “All my life. by 1914 the equivalent figures were sixty-two and twenty-nine.

Germany retained a significant weight. and on the other.To avenge its honor. been has joined by Italy. We may note that after thewar. even though diminished and unable to offer a coherent model. Iorga did not miss the chance to stir up the “Latins who are not interested”. as well as the no less present autochthonous model. without any greed for foreign lands or any selfish ambition to grasp from others their hegemony the over world.the“falseGermanophile” before 1914.17 A splendid page of political mythology! Two years later (on 26 September 1916). traditionalism. In the Romanian political imaginary. andif possible even more. and on the eve of the Second World War the Romanian extreme Right. young Romanians continued to study in Germany. the autochthonist wave and the maturing of Romanian society in general limited and fdtered elements from outside. throughtheunexpected turn of history.). Thus we can see that there were a variety of Western models on offer. interwar the period meant progress for France and a withdrawal of the German model. Around the middle of the centurythemyth of theSovietUnionblotted out every other cultural . and finallyRomania.”lR Spain stood accused for not taking part in this brotherly outpouring of blood-although it basically was not in any of its interests to do so. therefore. But what does France want? It wants to b:ue.wasto refuse systematically any contact with Germany and with the German academic community. in spite of itsnebulouscharacter (Orthodoxism. German was still the second foreign language after French. in other words. especially in the human sciences. especially from French culture. on the onehand. What does Britain want? keep its To controloftheseasand the gains this brings.THE ROMANIANS AND THE OTHERS 165 Europe. To keep its lands and its rights.thoughcases of “Anglophilia” remained limited to a few individuals.Iorga.TodaytheLatinsare pouring out their blood together. then Portugal. was the Russian model once again. in the end. not to mention existence the of certain sympathies with Mussolini’s sociopolitical solutions. although sprung from autochthonous soil. which was affirming itself more and more strongly. The position of Britain (the great Western allyalongsideFrance)wasrising. reworked in the communist mold. COMMUNIST MYTHOLOGY What took hold. etc. More significant was the riseof Italy.It wants the French state and the French nation to live. which took its place beside France as a place for the education of elites. peasantism.WhatdoesAustriaHungary want? To strengthen and advance Hungarian ambitions in the Carpathians and the Balkans. discovered certain affinities with Nazi ideology. were given that. There can be no doubt that these evolutions relative. the Spanish: “The war which France began without a program of conquest.

But this does not alter the fact that thenewmodelwasmorefaithfully adopted in Romania than in the other satellite countries. What is striking. Heavy industry was likewise constituted on pure Soviet lines. cement-capable of rapidly transforming economic structures. illustrates the profound sense of the change. Canada. The anoying differencewas that the great neighbor could base its steel industryon immense deposits of iron and coal. but so was Hungary. covering the country with factories and furnaces. raising a numerous workingclass out of almost nothing. is the radicalism of the Romanian solutions of imitation. this time too. in 1948 they copied the Soviet one. Very similar methods of repression were experienced. and the Soviet model were all.as in the Soviet Union. the autochthonous model. always looking for reference points that could be easily mythologized. towards p d l t o . one of the largest producers cf stee! in the W O ~ ! .166 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS reference point. In the later years of the communist regime two out of every three graduates were engineers. the after Soviet Union. veritable religions. a myth of Soviet provenance but taken to itspeakinRomania. not only was there no attenuation of the Soviet model after the relative “breaking free” from the Soviet Union: it was on the contrary. a reproduction of the Soviet canal labor camps. regardless of any principle of efficiency and viability. Thus Romania became. of course. who had gone over to the side of the new orientation bagand baggage.The myth of the engineer was promoted. It can be argued that Romania was a defeated country. in their time and for their adherents. In 1866 the Romanians could think of nothing better than to copy the Belgian constitution. All that remained was the Communist Party. consolidated. Lght comeJ Jmm the East. multiparty the system disappeared completely in Romania (it was maintained partially as and a matter ofform inthe other communist countries). As in the Soviet Union. including the notorious Danube-Black Sea canal. The mythological sense of this sort of industrialization is even more evident in Romania than in the Soviet Union. The collectivization of the land was almost total. The French model. The subordination of the church and the virulence of atheistic propaganda reached levels similar to the Soviet Union. This spirit of imitation highlights the fragdity and instability of Romanian society. an absolute world record (compared with about 50 percent in the Soviet Union and a mere 7 . such as were not seen in Catholic or Protestant communist countries. for the simple reason that theresources of the country were not suited to such a project.or Australia!) in order to satisfy an ideological fantasy.19 Romania was turning its eyes from the West to theEast. while Romania had to import them (from India. with its emphasis on heavy industries more characteristic of the nineteenth century than the late twentieth-iron and coal. Moreover. steel. It could. thetitle of a propagandabrochure published in 1945 by Mihail Sadoveanu. and forcing the process of urbanization. The preeminence of the proletariat-a requirement of the communist myth-was also translated by an orientation of intellectuals towards mzcin technology. Here we are at the heart of the communist mythical approach. be argued in reply that communism was imposed all over Central Europe by the simple advance of the Soviet steamroller.

The explanation may be found in the massive character of the crude pressure exerted.THE ROMANIANS AND THE OTHERS 167 percent inFranceandtheUnitedStates). at theend of Ceaugescu’srule. radically modifying social structures. not to mention more evolved communist societies like Hungary or Poland. Romania was closer to the original Stalinist model than to the Soviet Union itself. and certain traditional relations with the West were renewed. All the more so as the history and traditions of thecountry were-albeitin apartial and distorted manner-restored to their proper place. had its admirers and imitators. Force alone cannot radically change a society. It was a deceptive appearance. borne rather than shared. The “cultural revolution” launched i 1971 was not identical in its objectives and its scale with the Chinese n phenomenon. Every myth has its believers. it can be appreciated the impact of the Soviet mythwas much that greater than influence the of the French generally (or Western) myth. in the reconstruction of P’yongyang. systematic At same the destruction of Bucharest its and rebuilding as “utopian has a city” its correspondent. whichhadbeen set in motion by Gorbachev. the landscape of the country.asdid North Korea. What was added to this model was a considerable doseof Orientalmythology. while Romanians the set out to destroy “Little the Paris” themselves. Wary as I am of the trap of mythologizing. nor that the Romanian people in its entirety showed no adherence to communism. While the elite of the nineteenth century looked towards the West. Its transforming action went deeper. Moscow. and those who remain indifferent. even if violence essentially explains the transformations which took place. and the lives of the people. and certainly its model. in comparison with the slower and more nuanced operation of the mental and cultural mechanisms through which the influence of the West had made itself felt. This could be recognized after 1989. when a large . its unbelievers. The real structures remained those of Soviet communism. the time. like Paris. frustrations.but they shared certain common characteristics calling (the of intellectuals to order. In 1989. From this point of view the Soviet myth was a false myth. In as much as Bucharest today looks more like a“post-communist city” than a replica of Paris. I do not intend to claim that the Romanian people in its entirety was won over by communism. in first the place). in contrast to the Western myth that had seduced generation after generation. But that is not quite how things stand. with one difference: the North Korean capital been had flattened by American bombardments. and complexes to turn other segments of society towards quite different points of reference.20 Thus it can be seen that the Soviet model followed was down the to smallest detail even and outdone in some respects. in Romanian society around the middle of twentiethcenturythereweresufficientdissatisfactions. there must be an element of belief and an element of participation. Some superficial observers were prepared to believe if the that Soviet model wasnot being abandoned it was at least being adapted.Thiswasthe momentwhen China becamea“traditionalfriend”. After 1964 the Romanian communist leaders embarked on an apparently independent policy.

What the West offered under Ceaugescuwas. Forezgner became a generic term. POST-REVOLUTIONARY REFERENCE POINTS Since 1989 a reorientation towards the West can be clearly felt. social uniformity (even if only in appearance). corruption. simply because we do notbelieve in it! On the other hand-and again see complexity here we the of mythical configurations-the failure of communism. For Romanians deprived of the most basic goods. to play the role of a “middle class”. “Entry into Europe” does not mean the same . and many other things which I shall not list here. especially in material terms. What counted then was above all the cultural model. the ultimate expression of the mythologizing process. believe in. The packet of coffee and the Kent cigarette illustrated the virtues of Western civilization: it is a significantdegradation of themyth. The thousands of Arab students who cametoRomanianuniversitiespreciselybecausethey could not afford to study in the West were able. The return to power of ex-communists inthemajority of the Central European countries liberated only recently from communism demonstrates that the phenomenon is a moregeneral one. In their relative isolation the from rest of theworld the Romanians could invent stories at will. in an impoverished and isolated country. The apparently high percentage of those who currently adherethe to European idea must be interpreted with great prudence. sufficiently cosmopolitan and financially endowed to dynamize the various segments of Romanian society with which they came into contact (by dealing in foreign goods and currency.). whoseaim. the mythical West generated by Romanian communismwas different in its nature to the West of the nineteenthcentury elite. ManyRomanians no longermake a cleardistinctionbetween Istanbul and Paris. cigarettes. December After 1989 was it a surprise to find in the “stockpiles” of completely banal products (coffee. And there was a hrther degradation: the mythof the West became the myth of “abroad” in general-all that isforeignis good (in a predominantly materialsense).morethananything. although it is held back by theresistance of the autochthonists. sometimes even damaged) became a symbol of Western-style well-being. The welfare state.whichhaddescended ‘to thelowestlevel imaginable. a guaranteed right to a job. generated a new process of the mythologizing of the West and indeed of the whole noncommunist world. cannot be other than to Romaniathe keep in East. However. It would be worthwhile studying the impact the Arab microof society which existed in Romania in the1970s and 1980s.explicit or implicit. and do not still. are elementsof a mythology that it is dangerous to say some people did not.the products ofconsumer civilization.168 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS part of the population were reticent about breaking with communist structures and mentalities. soap) possession of leading members of the communist nomenklatura. prostitution. etc. things received “in a package” (second-hand goods.

and finally the break with communism aqd a hesitant return to the Western pattern. THE ROMANIANS AND THE OTHERS 169 thing to everybody. now it has all the necessary credentials to reaffirm its traditional influence in Central Europe. Various other reference points also were invoked in the years after the revolution. this is a normal phenomenon. In the course of a century and a half the Romanian nation has been traumatized by three great ruptures: the break with the Orient. in the first place as a language of culture and communication: a unique situation in a Europe dominated by the English language. Here French is. Austrian. but very visible. but prefer ignore structural to the transformations which such an orientation imposes. but between Russia and Germany. having been inculpated after the war and then completely evacuated from the Romanian mythical complex. from American music and films to Coca-Cola and McDonalds restaurants). Reference points. and the general appearance of Bucharest brings it closer nowadays to the condition of a ‘little Istanbul” than the “Little Paris” of former days. On the part of the authorities there was no shortage of clever and hope-inducing references to the Swedish..ts perennial values. It is tobeexpected that Germany will return in force. Polls taken immediately after the revolution placed France in the first place in the “Western imagmary” of the Romanians. and interms of itseffectivepresenceintheRomanian space. especiallyfrom a material point of view. now. The United States is starting to overtake France in terms of what it offers the Romanians by way of a social and culturalmodel. In geopolitical terms at least. is the Turkish model. all the more attractive as it combines the image of explosive development with the reality of a massive presence in Romanian the market. including everyday life. Turkeyis coming back in force to the space formerly dominatedby the Ottoman Empire: such a performance by the poorest of the European nationsthatdid not experience communism says all there is to say about the good work done by the communist system. or Japanese models. Istanbul is not as far away as Paris. but at the same time “untouched” in i. and the inevitable limiting of national sovereignty. The survival of the French myth-even if it no longer has its former strengthseems to be characteristic of Romania. They continue to hope for a Romania integrated. or was until recently. All of these have imposed the presence of multiple and contradictory models.theneedtorethinkpoliticalandculturalreference points. it will find it hard to resist the massive inhsion ofAmerican mythology (which can be found at all levels. models. But English iswell on the way to overtaking it. A new reference point is South Korea. which would appear to demonstrate that authoritarian political and social principles are compatible with a free economy. Many think of the advantages. Less often invoked. charged . Communism “preserved” the French myth. if indeed it has not already done so. with the United States close behind. Those nostalgic for communism followwithsatisfactionthe current Chinesemodel. in an open world. then the break with the West through the installation of communism. myths-we are far from a clear option. Romania does not lie between France aqd the United States. Indeed.

feverish search for what others can offer andthefear of whatmightbe lost by contact with others. as did the dramatic events which followed the cession of northern Transylvania in 1940. due to their high birthrate and the low birthrate of others.approximatelytwo-thirds of Romanians do not like Gypsies. from however. Modern Romanian civilization is essentially a civilization of transition: hence both the . more and recently also economic.170 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS with giving sense and coherence an to elzdhss transition.andmarginal other. appreciably their growing demographic. theHungarians and the Jews. is amplified by public opinion to the order of millions. from the insecurity of everyday life (murders. Their number. Of course.primitive. in the Romanian environment. not its Hungarian counterpart). THREE SENSITIVE FILES: THEGYPSIES. therefore. officially a few hundred thousand. Internal failures. and offers all theingredients of a politicalmyth. are pushed to the background by . and continues to happen.whichis promoted even on state television. hence. the extreme opinions acquire mythical dimensions and manifest themselves with the intensity of a psychosis. but also a certain romantic-humanitarian sympathy and a civilizing intention:* is giving way to a mixture of hostility and fear. Here.tments well Apart this. In such cases the process of mythologizing can go very far. Gypsies will come to be in the majority in Romania. the Hungarian threat providedan excuse for the Ceaugescu regime. In these conditions thediscourse. The traditional myth of the Gypsy. Some projections foresee the moment when. In particular. but what we are interested inhere is Romanianmythology. robberies) to the damaging of the country’s image abroad. of strictly indigenous origin. This rather high proportion is suggestive of a veritable psychosis. resen. THE JEWS THE AND When the “other” is to be foundwithinthecitadel. the obsession with the foreign. The Hungarians in their turn “enjoy” the unfavorable opinion of about a third of Romanians. too. history has its share of responsibility: discrimination against the Romanians and a contemptuous attitude towardsthem in pre-1918Hungarycould not fail to markRomanian consciousness. in other words.Manythingsareblamed on the Gypsies. Explicitly or implicitly. expressive of a feeling of superioritytowards a verydifferent. as it has done on more than one occasion for those in power after 1989. According to thepolls. withthreespecific ethnic groups: the Gypsies. This is what has happened.becomesracist. the are maintained politically a l d are systematically amplified (by both sides. the amalgam of fascination and rejection. HUNGARIANS. Investigations since 1989 have demonstrated that it is especially on them that the frustrations m d fears of the majority population projectedvarying are in proportions.he often presents more features of difference and stimulates to greater extent all sorts of unease than the a “other” outsidc. weight arouses fear.serving to further widen a social fissure capableof generating dangerous situations.



imagmary threats, in the face of which the Romanians are urged to be united and to forget their passing difficulties. The Romanians continually hear that the Hungarian lobby is creating international obstacles for Romania, and that Magyar irredentism threatens to tear Transylvania from the body the country. of It would be naive to consider that there are no elements of reality at the base of thesemythical constructions. The propagandawithanti-Romanianaccents produced by certain Hungarian groups, and the agitation which goes on around the issue of Transylvania, are not exclusively matters of the imaginary. Where the myth beginswhen is Hungary becomes the dominant player to which all important Romanian evolutions aresubordinated. It appears in the guise of a great power-which of course it is not”capab1e of outdoing Romania, a country two and a half times larger and more populous. Transylvania, which, together with the Banat,has an area larger that than of Hungary and a population inwhich Romanians are clearly in the majority, appears in this context as an amorphous Even the entity, capable of being extracted from the Romanian national whole. history of theRomaniansendsupbeingconceived insuch a way as not to concede anything to the Hungarian point of view or affirm anything which might be to Hungary’s advantage. (It is for strictly “Hungarian” reasons that issues like continuity, history the of Transylvania, relations the between Romanian the territories and their unification no be canlonger approached with calm professional detachment). Thus, so as not to lose out before Budapest, the Romanians willingly themselvestow place in the of Hungary, becoming dependenton all that issaid and done there. An escape from themythology presupposes awareness of thefactthatthedestiny of Romania, for better or worse, in lies Romanian hands. Overestimating one’s adversaries provides a convenient excuse, but itdoes not resolveanythingexcept, at the most, the political interests of the moment. From the point of view of adversity, the Jews now stand in a rather better position. Only 13 percent of Romanians,according to the responses in a poll, appear to be anti-Semitic. It is a small proportion, if we think of the “Gypsy” or “Hungarian”psychoses, but largeenough if we consider that nowadays the numbers of the Jewish minority in Romania are very reduced. In this case the “archetypal”dimension of anti-Semitism is combinedwithreminiscences of a history which is closed but recent, and the traditional accusations brought against great international financial interests and against Jewish influence in world politics in general. The historical relations between Romanians and Jews are highly mythologized in both directions. On the one hand, some authors, usually Jewish, highlight an entire tradition of Romanian anti-Semitism. From this point of view, the killing of the Levantine creditors in 1594, the act which launched Michael the Brave’s antiOttoman rebellion, was simply an anti-Jewish pogrom. Romania is reproached for not granting Romanian citizenship to the Jews until after theFirst World War, an attitude suggestive of fundamental anti-Semitism.22 Finally, there is an insistence. on the wave of anti-Semitism on the eve of the Second World War,the massacres



in the time of Legionary dictatorship, and the (partial) genocide with which the Antonescu governmentis charged. At the opposite extreme are thereinterpretations from a nationalistRomanianist perspective, which see the nineteenth-century settlement of the Jews, especially in Moldavia, as a veritable invasion, and the refusal of citizenship as a minimum protection measure for the Romanian organism. Certainly there is no acknowledgement of Romanian anti-Semitism. As for Antonescu, far from exterminating theRomanianJews he saved them the from fate of their coreligionists in Germaly or even Hungary. On the contrary, the Jews are reproached for having got rich unscrupulously at the expense of the Romaniansfrom this point of viewtheappetite for gain of Jewishleaseholderscouldbe considered theprimarycause of theuprising of 1907-and for theirlack of patriotism, that is, non-adherence the their to Romanian national idea. The enthusiasm with which the Jewsof Bessarabia received the Soviet invaders in June 1940 is also noted (as a justification for the subsequent repression), and the Jews aremadelargelyresponsible, along withHungariansand other non-Romanian groups, for the installation of communism in Romania and for the harshest phase of Stalinist terror. The idea is expressed by Iosif Drfigan, in a few words with no nuances: ‘With the support of the Soviet army, Party activists were brought in, under new,Romanianizednames,peoplelikeAnaRabinovici-Pauker, Leonte Riutu (Rotmann), Mihail Roller, Silviu Brucan, Teohari Georgescu, Likzlo Luk6cs (Vasile Luca) and the Bulgarian Borili, etc. [...I The leadership of the Party was monopolized by these allogenic elements.”23 Far from being persecuted, therefore, the Jews had repaid Romanian hospitality withmischievous revenge. a I recognize that it is hard to keep a sense of proportion in a field as delicate and as prone to the temptation of mythologizing as this. On the one hand, it is impossible to deny the existence of Romanian anti-Semitism, or, perhaps more correctly and broadly, of a perception of the Jews as a being invested with a high degree of otherness. The range is very large, from fundamental and violent antiSemitism to a note of understanding and even sympathy, but sympathy for an “other” who is compartmentalized in a distinct position. Even E. Lovinescu, who promoted literature written by Jews, and G. Ciilinescu, who took the risky step in 1941 of giving Jewish writers considerable space in his History of Romaniatz Literature, saw in theman element capableof enriching the national culture, but no less a race apart, withimmutablefeatures,quitedifferent from those of the Romanians. The goodwill they showed was goodwill to a foreigner. Before being Romanian,the Jew wasstill a Jew. I believe that LeonVolovici is correct in claiming that “A ‘Dreyfus affair’ the in Romania, of the 1 9 3 0 ~ ~ cannot be imagined.”24 In other words, it was impossible conceive to of the basis of Romanian society being rethought only for the sake of integrating theJews. On the other hand, all these attitudes are the result of history, not of any Romanian predisposition. The mechanism which is at work here is one which has functioned, and still functions,everywhereintheworld(evenin Israel,‘ as is demonstrated by the Arab problem). History shows how difficult it is to



harmonize communities of different origins, language, religion, and culture. We have seen what happelled in Bosnia, where, seen from a distance, the differences appeared to be minimal. The nineteenth-century expansion of the Jewish population in the Romanian space, and especially in Moldavia and in the urban environment, was considerable. In 1912 Jews made up almost 15 percent of the n urban population of the country. In Bucharest the proportion was 13 percent, i Iagi almost half (42 percent) with similar levels inother Moldavian towns too. It is hard to say where the “tolerance threshold” lies; at the bottom line there can be anti-Semitism without Jews (as is the in case Romania today). The fact that dyshnctionalities and tensions generally from result the interpenetration of distinct communities needs to be taken into account. From a historical point of view, the Romanian-Jewish file is explicable, as is the contemporary Arab-Israeli confrontation (though explanation is not the same as justification). The only way out of the mythology is along a line of historical interpretation-which lifts the blame,historicallyspeaking,bothfromRomaniansand from Jews. Otherwise someone will always be to blame: the Romaniansor the Jews. With Antonescu, likewise, things lie somewhere in the middle. As in the wellknown principle of the half-full or half-empty bottle, which is the same in either case, differences are simplya matter of interpretation. Antonescu cannot decently be transformed into a savior of the Jews.He was an anti-Semite and that fact must be acknowledged. But he was an anti-Semite in a particular context, which also requires to be understood. The history of those times cannot be judged exclusively by the norms of today. And of course, Antonescu’s anti-Semitism did not go as far as Hider’s. The greater part of the Jewish community in Romania survived. The picture is far from being impeccably clean,but it is not completely foul either. of Nor is it possible to evade the issue the role playedby Romanian Jews in the first years of communism.Passing the blame onto someoneelse has unfortunately been a habit in Romania in recent decades. Regardless of the role played by Jews to (not all, for there were Jews who were persecuted too), the Romanians have accept their own history, for which they are, in the first place, responsible: this includes communism, if not so much its installation (though the massive joining up after 1944,includingsomeleadingintellectuals, cannot beignored), then certainly the way in which it was applied. That said, it would be incorrect not to note the significant numbers of Jews (and of other non-Romanians) in the political apparatus and the agencies of propaganda and repression in the Stalinist period. At the begmning of the 1950s, out of the four members of the Secretariat of the Communist Party, only Gheorghiu-Dej was Romanian, in a clear minority compared with those from “minorities” (Ana Pauker,VasileLuca and Teohari Georgescu). The phenomenon is so visible that an honest historian cannot simply pass over it, The “Jewish” moment of Romanian communism resulted from a combination of at least three factors: the predominantly non-Romanian character of the Communist Partybefore1944,the shift tothe“center” of a hitherto marginalized community, the and offensive -st national which values characterizedthefirstphase of thenewregime. We need to leavemythology



behind in this respect, too: there can be no general inculpation of the Jews (in comparison to an “innocent” Romaniannation), nor canweremove from the equation an important group of Jews who played an undeniable role in the history of the period. The ideal must be to judge both Antonescu and Ana Pauker by the same standards.

The mythology of the “other” providespoliticalpropagandawith a priceless weapon.Once it is possible to choose anything from history, the historical imaginary becomes a support for disinformation and manipulation. Every nation has its stock of traditional friends and hereditary enemies, which can be revised according to circumstances. A significant section of the Romanian population sympathized with the Serb side in the years of conflict in former Yugoslavia. Tro-Serbism” is largely, though not exclusively, a reflection of thenationalist, Orthodoxist, and anti-Western inclinations present in Romanian society. In support of this completely explicable attitude, however, a quite different argument was invoked: tradition the of RomanianSerbian friendship, to the extentof claiming that Serbia (or the present Yugoslavia)wasRomania’sonlygoodneighbor (aclaimactually made by the president of Romania, Ion Iliescu). Anyone with a little knowledge of the history of RomanianCerbian relations knows that that is not quite how things are. have already mentioned the less than I favorable opinion of the Serbs expressed in Romanian folklore. In the period of Austro-Hungarian dualism, forms of collaboration developed between the Serbs and Romanians of Hungary (inthecontext of thenational movement of the peoples of the Habsburg Empire). There had, however, previously been tensions between them, generated in particular by the dependence of the Orthodox Romanians on the Serbian metropolitan diocese of Karlowitz (between 1783 and 1864). In 1848 the Romanians of the Banat protested more against the Serbs than against the Hungarians. What is certain is that the two states, Romania and Serbia, hadgood relations in thelastdecades of thenineteenth century and at the begmning of the twentieth. At the end of the First World War, however, they cameclose to conflict,thebone of contention beingtheBanat,which both countries sought to annex wholly or in its greater part. As a consequence, Serbian troops occupied the present Romanian Banat in 1918-1919, where they left less than friendly memories. though conflict Even armed was avoided, the compromise solution-thepartitioning of the Banat two-failed in tosatisfy either side completely. The interwar period saw close relations within the Little Entente, but with the whole of Yugoslavia, not just Serbia. The statues of the Romanian kingswerecommissionedfromtheCroatIvan Meitrovit. After the Second World War communist Romania stood out in its relentless denunciation of Yugoslav revisionism; the “executioner Tito”, with blood dripping from his



axe, became a familiar image in the Romaniaof the 1950s. Then,‘as the Romanian leaders parted company with Moscow, there followed a normalizing of relations and anevercloser rapprochement betweenthe two countries. No longer the executioner, Tito-who was anyway of Croat, not Serb, origin-became the good friend of Gheorghiu-Dej and later of Ceaugescu. These are a few summary points of reference. The balance is inclined towards friendship, but we are far from the perfect clarity invoked in propaganda. In any case,politicalrelationsarebasedlessonhistorythan on present interests and affinities. Good relations with Serbia can be promoted without rewriting the past to seem more idyllic than it was in reality. A curious double discourse can be heard where Turkey is concerned. On the one hand, the Turks are our old enemies, who invaded us and oppressed us and whom the Romanian voivodes repeatedly defeated the Middle Ages. But,on the in other hand, the Turks havecomebacknow,withcapital, goods, and political projects. The contradictory discourses could h s e (them.ore so as the common history of the two peoples is a matter of collaboration, not just fighting), but they are generallyemittedseparately: at ’school,pupilslearn about the RomanianTurkish conflicts,whilepoliticians trytohighlightthetradition of friendship between the two countries and peoples.


The myth ofconsp;ray is one of the best-known figures of the political-historical imaginary. We meet it, of course, among the Romanians too, and even in aggravated forms, given the already-mentioned complex of the besieged citadel and more recentlytheimpact of communist ideology and behavior, which are particularly sensitive to the theme the plot fromoutside or within. of Thrown from one side to the other by the waves of history, the Romanians have more than once felt betrayed and find it easy to believe there are all sorts that of obscure calculations and arrangements set in motion by others at their expense. Pht agailzst Romazia is the title of a book which appeared in 1993, and even if the title turns out to be more radical than the content, it remains representative of a certain state of mind.’The authors deal with the events of the years 1940 to 1947, putting the dismemberment ofRomania in 1940 and its subsequent entry into the communist sphere, with the confirmation of the loss of Bessarabia and Bukovina, under the sign of an international plot? In fact, what happened in 1940 was that the SovietUnion,Hungary,andBulgariarecoveredterritorieswhichtheyhad never ceased to claim as their own, while Germany and Italy punished Romania, the ally up until then of France and Britain. It was a national tragedy, but why a plot? For the simple reason that the theme of the plot has taken root in Romanian political culture. The great plot that remains beyond any doubt was set in motion at Yalta by Stalin, Roosevelt, Churchill. and The “Yalta myth” has penetrated far into

the others 50 percent. where the West was reserving even more for itself (while Poland and Czechoslovakia were not evenunderdiscussion). was secretly selling them to Moscow. Russia 50 percent. In this y light. scribbled by Churchill on a scrap of paper. the others 25 percent. However.Russia 90 percent influence.Moreover. in Hungary.176 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS Romanian consciousness. to half a century of communism and Soviet domination in Central Europe. the others 50 percent. its antiWestern essence is not hard to decipher. intervene. political.26 In fact. Yalta means betnyal b the Ve. and not only in anti-Western circles.27 For some.the others 10 percent. and even the Soviets. the influence in question concerned the economic. The disintegration of a system which was no longer able to hnction. military. which. and even Bulgaria. in Yugoslavia. What was to happen on a larger scale in Central Europe was what hadhappenedwithFinland.andthis is an elementary point. As everything is connected. in Bulgaria. by means of a new plot.rt. Things evolved differently. and strategic interests of the great powers. It is taken to be a real secret agreement. these are episodes in a generalcampaign of hostilitywhich the “others” bear towards us. This is the document of betrayal. and the West could not. not the internal regime of the countries named-unlesswewant to imagine that Churchill expected Romania to be 90 percent communist and 10 percent pluralist and democratic!The Westerners were naive. Russia 50 percent. or did not want to. indigenous communists.) A Western presence of 10 percent would have done Romaniano harm. and the revolutionarywave of anti-communistmovements. compared to the zero which it got in reality. The 1989 BushGorbachev meeting on the little Mediterranean island is said to have put an end. They were thinking in classical. In vain Western historians have labored to demonstrate that no deal was done at Yalta with a view to sharing out Europe. who believes them? The notorious percentage proposed by Churchill to Stalin in October 1944 is invoked: inRomania. but this does not mean that there was a plot or a sellout. without a doubt. and the imaginary is surprisingly logical. Yugoslavia. i n Greece. the others 90 percent. appear less g i t than the uly hypocritical West.seem to count for all too little in face of the archetypal force of the conspiracy myth. and economic position in the zone. Not to mention countries like Hungary. Russia 75 percent. while it promised the Romanians liberty. Yaha has its antithetical counterpart (which rhymes) even in Maha. without internal structures and normal relations with the West being dramatically affected thereby. In 1993 Dan Zamfirescu published a volume of essays . but decency obliges us to try to understand what was in their minds. (By this Romania time was already completely occupied. The “Finlandization” of the countries in question would have offered the Soviet Union the guarantee of a strong political. Churchillwastrying to saveasmuch as he could-as significant a Western presence as possible in a regionwhichlaywide open before the Red Army. The history of the last half century is reduced to two meetings and resumed in the easily remembered catchphrase “Yal ta-Mal ta”. “non-ideologized” terms of spheres of influence. Russia 10 percent.

and if they arenot in such a hlgh the position today.THE ROMANIANS AND THE OTHERS 177 entitled no less than The War agailzst the Romanian Peq& The Romanians deserved to become one of great peoplesof the world. “The plot agamst Romania” seems to be a historical datum: it is the cross we have to bear.when. alongside other small peoples and countries (Serbiaand Belgium). a great conqueror in day. which had previously been labeled an “imperialist war” by communist historiography. only his now mged the Dacian tribes of Central and Southeastern Europe. never sought. On the other hand. The same logic was applied to Romanian involvement in the First World War. That all the circle of the earth Was theirs upon a day. . and Italy. but “united” them.includingFrance. generally victoriously. m IMPERIAL TEMPTATION E Againsttheaggressivity and unscrupulousness of others. If. which repeatedly comes together prevent to them. The numerous wars which the Romanians have fought.withtheabsurdminuteness communist paranoia. in the later phase it became the protagonist of a just war. projected eitherinto the distant past or into the future. Thus Burebista. visible or obscure. the fault is not their own (they only have merits) but that of the coalition of forces. in the 1950s. The strictly defensive character Romanian policy became amatter of dogma of of nationalistin the time of Ceau$escu. The Romanians were only defending their ancestral soil or fighting to free Romanian territories had been that subjugated by others. Romania could not have been any less imperialist than all the rest. Insistence on Roman origins proved to the Romanians what Octavian Goga expressed so suggestively: That they are of an imperial race From a land far away. which was likewise seeking to liberate Alsace and Lorraine. which had similar aims to those of Romania in relation to Austria-Hungary. It is interesting that Romania’sallieswerestillinthebadcamp. any word or expression which could suggest even a hint of expansionist thinking was cast out. obliged to defend itself: this is a dominant theme of Romanian historical discourse and national consciousness. A small and peacehl people. The division between the “good” and the ‘(bad” fits perfectly with communist and nationalist Manichaeanism. the modesty presupposed by such a vision generated inevitable frustrations and dreams of expansion. have been forced on them. Romanianhistorical consciousness sets the wisdom and moderation a people whose only desire to of is live in peace. the conflict remaining imperialist only for the great powers. Thus it was that Michael the Brave no longer conquered Transylvania and Moldavia. however.

in a little Romanian land. professor of political and commercialeconomy). the Romatlians appear as its legitimate successors (the idea behind Iorga’s well-known work Bypm apd. “had not had to deal withmenlikeBasta. and Natxgation ofRomania. Romanian-Bulgarian and Romanian-Byzantine. advocate. there survives in the background of Romanian consciousness the nostalgia of a great destiny. founding a new Latin empire in the Balkan peninsula. the Dacian provinces would have taken on a quite different aspect. And across the centuries I see its rising. let us not forget the Burebista episode.demonstrated the primacywhichRomania . Dacian. The tactic of claiming Byzantine inheritance goes the in same direction. Philip the Arabian was a Dacian (despite his name!).Sigismond Bithory. Its author.178 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS A glory long past.2~Finally. writes August Treboniu Laurian. the Turks would have deserted Europe.”30 Things become even more remarkable when somewriters start to imagine that such a history actually happened! In 1885 a voluminous book appeared in Gala$. According to Hasdeu. on which communist propaganda capitalized so much around 1980. illustrated by the fact that no less than forty out of theeightyemperors of Romewere “Thraco-Illyro-Dacians~’. and a whole Romanian imperial phase was inscribed in the history of the world. as were other Roman emperors. the Romanians should. was to give the appearance of reality to a great Romanian history precisely in the period when documentary sources are almost silent concerning the Romanians. Roman. which for some nineteenthcentury historians became more a Romanian than a Bulgarian empire. (D. and their state would flourished”. have been destined to remaketheLatinempire of the East. who discovered an “imperial millennium of Dacia”. under his rule a veritable Dacian empire tookshape. Commerce.29 have Hasdeu expresses himself even more categorically in referring to Ioan VodQ the Terrible: ‘yust then. If Michael the Brave.whichwasrepeatedlymissed as a result of envy and betrayal. The role of the “Romanian-Bulgarian Empire”. Bolintineanu) Behind the image of a small country. Some historians heavily underline thispossibility. RomulusScriban (doctor of lawin Turin. Looking further back. but with the same Romanian-Roman identification) by Iosif Constantin Driigan. the Romanians would have raised themselves up even then. an imperial dream. and Ieremia Movilii. The loge of “Romanianizing” Roman history taken was to the extreme (in the opposite direction to Latinism.r By!pnce). in more favorable conditions. which could yet be re-actualized in days come: to A future of gold awaits our country. With such an imperial inheritance. there appeared a prince whom the only blackest betrayal could have prevented from gwing Europea different aspect. once Byzantium had disappeared. quite capable of rivaling that of Rome. with the title The Hirtoy o f t h e Pohical Ecotzomy. subject to the vicissitudes of history. it could be demonstrated that later R o m a ~ history is also dominated by the Romanian or preRomanian element. It took only a simple shift from the north to the south of the Danube.

by the installation in Albania of a sovereign related to the queen Romania). even larger than the modern Romanian state.”* Indeed. it was hoped at one point. the theoretician of Romanian imperial power does not forget to call for Romania to have colonies too! A century later. and even. thus incorporating the Serbian Banat. giving it the title of Queen of the Black Sea”. the Romanians and the Turks shared their empire. which would have threatened Romanian priority. The mythology of natural frontiers came into play here more than ethnic limits (whichare.’~31 And. and the envy of all itsneighbors. The determining role played by Romania in the second Balkan war. This is theperiodwhenRomaniaaspiredtotherole of principal regional power and arbiter of the Balkans. This does not mean that there was no room in Romanian politics for intermittent lapses into imperialillusionand a doseof expansionism.”What the author frequently calls the “Romanian Empire’’ appears as a unitary state in the Middle Ages.I the wealthiest state in the East.fromthe most ancienttothenewest. whose shores were occupied by Romania from themouth of the Bug to Mangalia.THE ROMANIANS AND THE OTHERS 179 had always enjoyed in the East: “[ . a few historiansarestiliflirtingwiththeimperialidea. in keeping with the past:“The Romanians aspire to renew the old Ronxmian empire of the East.. and the acquisition of the Quadrilateral were taken as confirmation of Romanian ‘77egemony” (consolidated also by the Romanian element in the Balkans. In other words. therewas nothing strange in suchpretensions-thatwas how . of The same tendency to look beyond strictly ethnic borders can be seen during the First World War.. joiningtheTisza at itsconfluencewiththeMureg before following it south to its confluence with the Danube. the year of the colonial conference in Berlin. It is clear that in the modem period Romania sought national unity. It is understandable in this context that the Romat1ia. which lasted from 1511 to 1877. to which they have a right as the legitimate successors in the East of the great Roman empire of as the whole w0rld. The weight of theRomanianBulgarian Empire in the historical discourse is associated around 1900 with a very activeBalkanpolicy. The domination of the Romanian lands by the Turks is transformed by Scriban into a Romanian-Ottoman “confederation”. at a time when ‘<the center of world was Mediterranean the trade the and Black Sea. The treaty concluded by the Romanian government with the Entente powers provided for the westward extension of Romania to a line lying some twenty to thirty kilometers beyond present the Romanian-Hungarian border. The latest discovery in the field promotes Vlad Tepeg from the modest rank of Prince of Wallachia to the glittering title Emperor ofthe East!32 Even if it is not true it of is “patriotic”.inanycase.farfromeasy to define): ‘(From the Dniester to the Tisza. and that is sufficient.n government in 1912to1913could not accept the creation of a greater Bulgaria. we are in 1885. conclusion the of the Treaty of Bucharest. The hture can only be an imperial one too.

expressing long-accumulated frustration. The territory between the Dniester and the Bug Prmsnistria) came under Romanian administration. MINORITIES At this point a theoretical clarification becomes necessary. in the eastern campaign the Romanian troops did notstop at the Dniester. The imperial temptation. and not only in Alsace. In the event of victory Romania would certainly have extended its territory and influence. the space claimedwouldhave Romanian population as farwestasthe brought Romania more Hungarians and Serbs than Romanians. an ethnic criterion“natural” right. in fact. hadwished “the destiny of Franceand the population of China”. France. and in this context it was not illogcal to believe that perhapsRomania’stimehad come-a Romania for which Cioran. It is likewise simplistic to judge the past through the prism of current norms of international law. likewise. or the “right of the peoples” as it used to be put. which would have meant the annexation of territories populated exclusively by Germans. The case of Romania in the Second World War is even more complex. and to put ourselves alone in the first category while we push the “others” into the second. but when its fatltasies do occasionally come to the surface they cannot be made to go away by the imposition of a historiographical taboo. let us allow him to be a great cunq14emP”t is not this that will damage the image of Romania in the present. . If Romania at the beginning of the century had pretensions to more territory and influence than it would ultimately acquire. is not dominant in the Romanian historicalpolitical imaginary. and on the other. BORDERS. Two series of arguments been have invoked the in process of the national-territorial restructuring of the last two centuries: on the one hand. not by any particular to the world into peaceful and spirit of the nations. was seeking to shift its eastern border to the Rhine. which had been mutilated in 1940. It seemed that a new world was beingborn. I repeat. the bait that Hider held out to the Romanians to persuade them to give up the lost part of Transylvmia (although Antonescu did not see it this way). COMPETING RIGHTS: NATIONS. in accordance with the dynamism of a whole generation. The expansionist philosophy had been generalized at a European level(with Romania itself falling victim in 1940). w h y do things have to be forced so that only the Romanians seem to have proceeded differently? As for Burebista.180 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS they thought at the time. But all this is explained by history. Circumstances forced the Romanians to stay on the defensive rather than going after foreign territories. Even if there were islands of Tisza. It was. It is simplistic divide aggressive peoples. In any case the “crusade against Bolshevism” sought the destruction of Soviet power and the damming of Slav pressure. For all that. The aim acknowledged by Antonescu was the making whole again of Greater Romania. thishappenedwithintheframework of thenormalpolitical gameeveryone was doing the same thing.

which was indisputably Romanian. Every nation has its “ideal map”. in its own way. Equally. to an observer with no sentimental involvement in thenational confrontations of theregionthe problem of the . and still use. the historical argument was also made use of. they had never belonged to Romania or the Romanian principalities. as we have seen. ethnic motives were only subsidiary-regardless of the arguments-as historical official were considerations (it had been part of Wallachia in the time of Mircea the Old). but also. or more recently in Bosnia). the predominant criterion was ethnic. In the case of the Banat. combining the ethnic and the historical in their own way.THE ROMANIANS AND THE OTHERS 181 a political criterion corresponding to state configurations which were considered origmal-historical right. being in the right before the others. but also historical right for the whole-as a part of Moldavia until 1775-allowing the fact that the Romanians were. but sometimesbrutally. by the use of the other criteria: historical and geopolitical. Bukovina invited a twofold approach: ethnic right in the first place for the southern half. similar arguments. when it seemed opportune.in terms of ethnic coloring it was German. To these may be added geopolitical considerations. each. The annexation of the Quadrilateral was also essentially a matter of geopolitical considerations. Neighboring nations appeal to different arguments.aswasthecasewith the deportations and displacements of population during and after the Second World War.are tempted to separate it retrospectively from the Hungarian crown and from any Hungarian historical political and project to and bring it closer to the two Romanian principalities. to support the joining of thewholeprovincetoRomania as anindissolublehistoricalentity. Modem Romania was built primarily on the ethnic principle. The principles in question may be combined.in part. The neighbors of Romania used. as faras the Tisza. In the case of the areas ruled by Hungary until 1918. integrating into a general Romanian history. In the case of Dobrogea. it As the arguments are of the same order. A strictly demographic approachwould have left a question mark over the northern part of the province (Hotin) and the southern counties (Cetatea Albi and Ismail). which does not perfectly match the “ideal maps” of others. but they were inhabited by a majority Romanian population. The determining factors were undoubtedly geopolitical in character (the mouth of the Danube and the Black Sea coast). regardless of the predominantly Serbian population of its western part. a minority in the northern half to be passed over.deprivedforcenturies of a Romanian state in Transylvania. Each seeks to consolidate its less obvious rights. the Sudetenland belongs to the Czech Republic. the Hungarians havecome to dream of a remote historical period when the Romanians were not there. or they may be completely contradictory.as was the demand for a western border pushed. andso on. The issue is complicated by the fact that there are many historical sequences which can be valorized in this sense. According to historical right. and by the many modifications which have taken place linguistic borders and ethnic in composition (usuallyslowly. This combination of ethnic and historical also right applied the in case of Bessarabia. where Romanians were a minority in 1918. or had become. As a minority in Transylvania. the Romanians.

the ethnic coloringhas become almost pure Romanian. There can be no doubt that a process of Romanianization has taken place.182 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS Hungarian minority in Transylvania and that of the Romanian minority in northern Bukovina appear in a similarlight.6 percent. formerly so characteristic of the Romanian space. the Romanians have also gained at the expense of the “others”. in provinces previously characterized by a high degree of ethnic mixing. Even in Bucharest in the interwar period (according to the same census data of 1930). A few decades in later. Nowadays. especially during the last hundred years.519 were Romanian. and the rising number of Gypsies. 2. and in the same interval of time. according to the 1910 census. if we go by the figures in the 1992 census.2 percent). Dobrogea seemed almost Mly Romanianized. With the exception of the Hungarian presence in a number of Transylvanian cities.6 percent (a gain of 20 percent in three-quarters of a century).8 percent. they represent 73. 2. The cosmopoLtan tom. demographic the structure of Timigoara 1930 in comprised 30 percent Germais. 20 percent of the population were still of non-Romanian origin. so that process the of normalizing relations with our neighbors and of Europeanintegration will not be blocked by confrontations of a sort characteristic of the divided Europe of yesterday and incompatible with the projected united Europe of tomorrow.Ukrainianin northern Bukovina). and 26. By 1930 the proportion of Romanians had risen to 57.withRomaniansrepresenting91percent of the population. while the proportion of Hungarians has fallen to around 21 percent and that of Germans toscarcelymorethan 1 percent.419 inhabitants of Constanta. In both casestheinvocation of a historicalright(“ransylvaniapreviouslybelongedtoHungaryandBukovina to Moldavia and later Romania) cannot be used to override the wishes of the present majority(RomanianinTransylvania.5 percent Romanians.6 percent of the inhabitants of the capital areof Romanian nationality. if it is included the proportion falls to 44. and so on. the majority the Romanians have lost ground to the “others”. This is thecase of BessarabiaandBukovina. Romanians represented 53.8 percent. At the otherendof the country. 855 Jewish. out of 10. In Transylvania (including all the territories beyond the mountains). Hungarians 31. But it must be sincerely recognized that in other areas. with other shades becoming lost in the whole. In 1880 the Romanian population of Dobrogea was no more than 28 percent of thetotal. 3G percent Hungarians. which means that they have almost disappeared as an ethnic reality.460 Greek.33 .is also a thing of the past. 1992. Of course in some areas where were they formerly i n . and Germans 10.060 Bulgarian. 1.8 percent and by 1956 to 65 percent. 82 percent of the population of Timigoara is Romanian.202 Turkish or Tatar. At present.and is no less true of the Romanian elementin Serbia and Bulgaria. All this must be made clear. at present 97. In 1895. Nowadays Romanians makeup 93 percent of the town’s population. 2. by thetime of thecensus of 1930 the proportion of Romanianstherehadincreasedto65percent(not counting the largely non-Romanian Quadrilateral.

It remains. Thus a small country was transfigured into a great country. apparentlyhard to reconcile. of course. The national state has proved to be assimilatory evetywhere (albeit to varying degrees and with varying methods: we cannot equate genocide or deportation with the gradual erosion of minorities). with its high proportion of minorities. and actually made it seem in the eyes of some people. between proclaimed the defensive spirit of the nation and its aspiration to the status of a great power. the totality of the historical process. It is probable that. As far as the first part of the equation was concerned. The oppressive demographic policy. the taboo was categorical: the Dacians. but they have also won. Romania was to become a great industrial power (with . At the same time. Others (it is sufficient to mention the Germans) have certainly given up far more.especiallyas a mediator between the rivalblocs (NATO and the Warsaw Pact. if we add up the pluses and minuses. The Romanians have lost. Ceaugescu's megalomaniac policy suggested. by achieving maximum density in a limited space. Romania could become great not by expansion but by efficiency. Romanian-ness is today in a stronger position than it was a century ago. it has worked against them. had never had pretensions to anything that did not belong to them. all aspects of the nationallife and. the Romanians have won morethan they have lost. A key role in this project was played by foreign policy. at least at thelevel of discourse.thedeveloped North and the Third World. however. will judge the process of ethnic and cultural homogenization which has been characteristic the last two centuries. etc.). As far as the economy was concerned. in which an increased birthrate was sought at any price.THE ROMANIANS AND THE OTHERS 183 The responsibility for such an evolutionbelongs to thenational state. of THE FOURTH WORLD 'POWER National communism introduced a new note into the relationship. it is more homogeneous d ~ a nin interwar Romania. to be seen how the Europeans themselves.IsraelandtheArabstates. The self-pity which is so frequent in the discourse of the Romanians is not sufficiently justified in this respect. and. according to the same logic. although within somewhatnarrower state borders. a country at the margin of the great political-economic ensembles became nucleus of the world? a The all-encompassingprocessenveloped. Within the borders of Romania this rule has worked to the advantage of the Romanians. outside. Neither the times a nor the ideology were suited to dreams of empire. that the dream of greatness which had been nursed by the national subconscious w s about to be realized. China and the SovietUnion. where Romania had to appear to be an indispensablepart of internationalrelations. in a hture united Europe. pointed in the same direction: raising Romania among the states of theworld by increasingthe number of its inhabitants. and later the Romanians. by itsinevitableprojection into thepast.

S. although few in number. which enabled him to raise an army of 200. some 95 percent of Romanian products would be of world standard the and rest aboveworld standard!). traditional From a mythology in which the Romanians.000combatants35. and the U. All I can allow myself are . in other words. Ceaugescu had discovered the recipe for the metamorphosis of a small country into a great power. the U. This explained the victories.R. In the Middle Ages. such astheprediction that by 1990. In 1989.000 to 140. the application the principle of ‘(the of struggle of the entire people” allowed Romanian the army to be raised to something between4. after Israel (the state and the universally spread ethnic community).beyond doubt. ten to one in favor of the Romanians.Hungarycouldcall on no more than14. The Romanian nation.000 fighting men.A. while. even though part of the total belonged to Transylvania. Among them was Dan Zamfirescu.S. had always disposed of powerrl armies thanks to the principle of the mobilization of the entire people.000 armed men.680. the ratio being.villagesbecametownsandtownsbecamecities by simple command. had almost always succeeded in defeating superior forces. who does not hesitate to claim that “from the Declaration of April 1964 to the Revolution of December 1989.. from the Romanian perspective. According tothesamecalculations.000and6. was acquiring unsuspected densities. according to the i h a y Histoty $the Romanian Peoph. oneof theleadingarmedforces of the world. to the kingdom of Hungary.36 In this way the Romania1 space transfigured.S. Romania was indubitably the fourth political power in the world. much more conveniently.whichwouldhave made it.184 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS ’ fantastic pretensions. As far as military power was concerned.245. and about the relations between the Romanians and the others. the non-existence of Romaniaitself at that timedid not seem to havecausedthe authors any difficulty in calculating the size of the Romanian army. What the others think about the Romanians is outside the scope of this book. with a per hectare yieldfar superior to that of any other producer. a force almost as numerous as that of the Roman Empire (if the improbable figure advanced by Strabo was accepted without the slightest critical reserve).”37 WHAT THE “OTHERS” SAY ABOUT THE ROMANIANS Up until now I have talked about the others. therefore. but large Romaman armies. the logic was now reversed. Burebista had proceeded exactly like Ceaugescu. It is interesting to observe that the fictive amplification the Romanian army was also of projected back into history.. M the Romanians could count on 120. believed Some him.. From this point of view. which were won by smallRomanian hnds. The urbanization process agun placed Romania among the world’s leadingnations: the demolition of villages was to make way for settlements of urban type. though small.000 fighting men. agricultural production reached a (fictive) level of 60 million tons.

was Romania more integrated in the European family and in the system of Europeanvalues than it was then. a certain people animated by a different spirit to that of the Western nations-a of others.withdrawnand frustrated. where nothing is really taken seriously. characterized by a stdl pronounced store of primitivism.38 What is remarkable. and Olivia Manning. a youngEnglishwoman. who otherwise little have in common except for the mere fact of belonging to Western culture. some of them authentic peasants and others more evolved peasants. this is their phase of maximum European integration). For this period we have the testimony of two. So much for the “‘Little Paris”! Olivia Manning seesthecitizens of Bucharest as a sort of peasants. When the famous novel first appeared Transylvania belonged to Hungary.tothe end of a century of “Europeanization” of Romanian society. indulgence. very different.whilethe other cannot conceal her antipathy. Romania presents itself as a country only partially integrated in European civilization. While West the defines itself as an ordered and predictable world. Leaving to one side Romania deformed by communism and deliberately cut off from Westerncivilization. and Count Dracula himself is not a . What we remain with in the end is the fact the Romanians are perceived as that something ehe (and I repeat. insecure world. Ford automobiles shared the road with ox carts. in the author treatsthecountrysympathetically. the quite un-Western mentality a positive quality. is their fundamental agreement on the character of Romanian civilization.THE ROMANIANS AND THE OTHERS 1. to a vague and unpredictable on space. The first period between 1939 and 1940) appeared somewhat later. To both visitors. a strange amalgam of modern urbanlife and rustic survivals. a lesson which the Romanians can offer the Westerner: adaptability. the Romaniansare dzt$erennt+ven if not necessarily in a positive sense-the product and exponents of another type of society. and consequently little inclined to look favorably on things. It is a fluid. In Bucharest. the contrary. while latter’s the Balkan Tnibgy (the first two volumes of which. optimism. given the differences between the two writers. It is a haphazardselection. not athorough study of the issue. dressed up in city clothes. At no other time. The tale of Dracula fits perfectly with this image. 85 a fewsuggestionsin order to underline the inevitable discrepancy between the image received outside and the Romanians’ own representation of themselves.letus go backtotheyearsimmediately leading up to theSecondWorld War. Western writers: Paul Morand. Morand with Paul noted amusement. the ability to pass through history without caring. however. a country of the margins. The former published his essay-volume Bucarest in 1935. Romania belongs. an urbane Frenchman closely integrated in Romanian social circles. For Morand. in its entire history during the last two hundred years. clightness” in living separates them from the responsible seriousness Our autochthonists may rest content: for Westerners. The same things only irritate Olivia Manning. in other words. on is the other hand. are set in Romania in the 1960s.too. The Gnut Fortune and The Spoilt Cip.

rightly or wrongly.186 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS Romanian but a Magyar aristocrat. The fog surrounding the December Revolution. does He not like the people. nowhere”. but nor doeshelikethelandscape. the mountains. A school textbook can help us to complete the picture. positive or negative it does not matter. The glance he casts from the sophisticated “Latin Quarter” of Paris. They do not even know their own history. the incredible assaults of the miners on Bucharest. Renaud Camus. he tells us repeatedly and firmly. Once again. Here are only a few of the themes which are likely to confirm tile prejudices of the foreign visitor. is expressed even in the title of his essay on a country which hadastounded him: “In Romania. tries to teach them a little during his short stay in Romania. as a space of definite otherness. The Carpathians offered just the right setting: on the edge of Europe.39 In 1991 another French writer. We Romanians represent the first circle of otherness. and the transforming megalomania of Ceausescu in particular. or the What plains. any for self-respecting foreign tourist the principal objectives of a journey in Romania are Ceaugescu’s palace and Dracula’s castle. characterizesRomanians the is “mental confusion”. however. Romania is characterized by“a right-wing authoritarian regime”“like Hungary. He does not like Romania. Communism in general. what impression can they have of the Bucharest of today. sufficiently close for our curious configurations and disturbing forms of behavior to be highlighted all the more strongly by contrast. the extravagant impressions of this author may arouse either indignation or hilarity. a city dominated by a pharaonic palace andcovered in garbage? Anyway.Dracula’s home could not have been placed in the Alps (too close to the heart of Europe). French pupils in their final year of high school are presented with the political map Europe in 1924.Buttheissue is more serious. the time when Romanian democracy was in its maturity. deepened both the real gulf and its projection in the imaginary. However. that is to say. and . the brutal *and uncontrolled spasms of an as yet unsettled society. the great symbols of Romanian singularity. Romania inherited the mythwhen it acquiredtheterritoriesoverthemountains in1918. armed with a summary bibliography and a large stock of prejudices. etc.whichis considered. it is a question of the perception of Romania. in fact. If even the “Little Paris” of the 1930s seemed “other” to Westerners. or in Tibet (too far away).40 According to the reader’s state of mind. to be the least blind to authentic Romanian values. giving a perspective in which real distances are amplified even more in the imaginary.41 of A w n the period in question is that betwee11 the wars. From the French perspective. Renaud Camus. I shallcite a fewmoreexamples. where Western civilization opens on an already different world.takenfromtheFrenchzone. Visiting Bucharest right at the time of the miners’ incursion in June 1990. “original democracy”. whether the hills. the writer Emmanuel Carrsre remains with the impression of a remote and strange land. lying outside normal European civilization. street children and orphans with AIDS. convinced that he knows it well. undertook a rapid tour of all the regions of the country.

from this point of view. Mythology operates on a register of contrasts. exaltation of all notes of modernity andEuropeanism. Westerners will never convince us that there was an authoritarian regime in interwar Romania. distorted. but nor can we convince them that it was democratic. and so much better!). let itbesaidinpassing. Faced with such images-and I do not intend to discuss here whether they are two principal dtrections: fair. or untrue-the Romanian reaction goes in either immersion in contemptuousautochthonism (we are different from the the or.andRomaniaas an essentiallyliberal and democraticcountry.moreresistantthan mostEuropean states to the assault of totalitarian ideologies. on the contrary. an amplification and others. too."HE ROMANIANS AND THE OTHERS 187 unlike the democratic societiesof the West. . which makes itall the more interesting that the French textbook puts them in the same category. A more balanced and critical approach would certainly create more bridges between ourselves and the West. There is a way out of the impasse. the East and the West presentdifferent types of civilization. Romanian textbooks present Hungary as subject to a fascist-type dictatorship from the coming to power of Horthy in 1920 (which. the only way to attenuate it is by a history of nuances. which probably also brings us closest to the truth: to take into account the amalgam of authoritarianism and democracy which characterizes the period i n question. It is clear that Romania is not recognized as having an authentic democratic tradition. The Hungary/Romania contrast is marked in Romanian historical culture.is not strictlytrue).

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Thanks to him. These people “other thanus”belongtothemystical zone of the imaginary. No community dispense can with ‘%eroes” and “saviors”. In his Romanian Histonograpby and its C u m l Pmbhms (1905). through the line of medieval voivodes. An approach to history which deconstructs myths runs the risk of affecting the position of thesesymbolicfigures.eveninthe most efficient and apparentlyskeptical technological and democratic societies. A presidential campaign. Even in the modem world’s secularized version. Dimitrie Onciul does not seem at all ready to give up the great figures of the past.When we speak of myth deconstruction in Romanianculture. nothing could be more universal. have imposed themselves from the beginning of the human adventure down to thepresentday. as in difficult situations. to Cuza and Carol I. however. Junimea remains true to form. offering us the non-conformist point of view that we have come to expect. his synthesis Fmm the Histoty ~ R o m a n i a r p i z e s the whole subject in terms o of rulers. than personalizing the of history and of sociopolitical mechanisms.weinstinctively turn to Junimea. Among the representative historians of the current. from Trajan. more archetypal. of the context. or even to diminish their importance. they are caught in the structures of the sacred. just as much in ordinary times. when the need for them is strongly Regardless felt. or Romanian it matters offers idea to little. when there is nothing exalting to construct and nothing essential to save. action their retains something of its original transcendent sense. the great . Exceptional figures. On the contrary.r. mediators between gods and people.CHAPTER SIX The Ideal Prince HEROES SAVIORS AND An inexhaustible mythical constellation is made up of the category of mytbologipd j?gzm. Quite different is the attitude of Ioan Bogdan. The process we are dealing with here is not typically Romanian. French. or between people and history. This is the moment when the “saviors” take the platform. the archetype functions. Indeed. between people and destiny. whether American. a basic as what this process of personalization means to anyone who cares tolook. either in contemporary life or in the commemoration of historical tradition.

Mao. Spartacus from to Robespierre. the sociologizing approachadopted by $tefan Zeletin. relegating personalities and events to a subordinate role. Historians by trade. Brgtianu replied promptly to Zeletin. However. “Our early history”. and socioeconomic mechanisms. Once the dictatorship of the proletariat had become more andmore openly the dictatorship of the great leader (Stalin. Brgtianu.190 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS Slavicist quite simply denies that the personalities of Romanian history are of ‘my interest. The author proposes a history of structures and collective acts. at least not a professional historian. the nationalist variant of thesystemamplifiedthe pantheon and gave personalities a rolewhichtheyhad not enjoyed at allin the theories of Marx. laws. Indeed.Livingexampleswereneeded.” We know too little about rulerslikeMircea or Stephen.Energiescould not be mobilized merely by a set of abstract philosophicalprinciples. communism only “repopulated” it. Ceaugescu the and annexed for himself whole the constellation of Dacian kings medieval and voivodes. in hisSocial Histoy: How Histoy canbecomeaScience of Cazlsahy (1925). Communism was built not by the illusory action of socioeconomic laws. he “does not know grea. declaring himself against the sociologizing history (in New Theories iz the of l Teaching OfHiJtoy. far from giving up the pantheon. a cult of the great makers of history was inevitably generated. In fact the communist project needed heroes in order to justify and illustrate its own historicalschema.those even committed to research into G. but by acts of will and of power. personalities werenot in the foreground. since the researching of ‘Xomanian culture”. The rise of Stalin brought Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great to foreground. The heroes of the past couldcontinue their career! The evolution of communist ideology and historiography is interesting in this respect. It is worth mentioning. Zeletin was not a historian. the communist pantheon was enriched with figures whom the principle of class struggle should not have allowed to return so easilyto center stage. and so were symbols. I. 1926). communism . Having set out to limit drastically the importanceof the “great men”. In a first phase. in any case.wouldbe more worthy ofinterest. History as by seen Man was a matter of problems. of Romaniancivilization. who came close to socioeconomic and cultural phenomena-like the Annahs school-had no intention of goingso far. states. Once thepoliticalwas installed in the commanding position. The radical solution proposed by the Junimist historian had few chances of success. for the interwar period. the providential figure found an unassailable position at the very heart of the communist system. “but rulers of this sort were few”.l This is what decides Bogdan to urge his colleagues no longer to insist on personalities and political actions. however. In general. And since every le%derneeds precursors to announce and legitimize him. a littlemore about Petru Rare? or Michael. or Ceaqescu). A Romanian history without significant the involvement of great personalities seemed hard to conceive. The more so as Marxisteconomicdeterminismended up yielding to Leninist political voluntarism.t individualities capable of imprinting a certain character on a period or a century. princes were replaced by the great rebel leaders and intransigent revolutionaries.

Even the liberal ideology of the nineteenth century adhered. adaptation. to the standard portrait of the single ruler. a well-outlined figure around themiddle of the nineteenth century. and a firm ruler. The selection. the figure of the savior imposes itself as an unavoidablenecessitywhenthecommunity is passingthroughtimes of crisis. theRomanianshavebeen passing throughan endless phase of transition. In a fluid world. the central figure of the great foundation myth of the birth of the Romanian people. and the effective exercise of authority. Contrary to Ioan Bogdan’s claim that we didnot have rulers capable of making a decisive mark on their age. European values. Investing in the great individuals of the past and the present is not a vocation particular to the Romanians any more thm to anyone else. The national (but also European) dimension of thepantheon2findsitsfirst embodiment in the person of Trajan. The Romanian case is no different from any other in the essence of the phenomenon. The impact of modernization seems to explain the remarkable position of providential figuresRomanian in historical-political culture. In addition. the defender of tradition and order. the harsh but fair parent. The founders of Wallachia and Moldavia occupy a less important position than might have been expected. nothing specific in theRomaniancase. the status of the individuals in question is equivocal: Negru Vodii or Radu N e w . remains in the shadow of the emperor. The ideal prince thus fitted into the ideology of the he time:had to be an exponent of Romanianism. the modality and intensity of its operation depend on the historical context. however. fr reference point and is im the “father of the nation” seemstobetheonly invoked withmuchmoreconvictionthan any political system or vague and uncertain abstract principles. THE COMPOSITION OF THE NATIONAL ’PANTHEON There is. the savior of the wholeness and independenceof the country. Decebalus. The shift towards first origins and towards the general Romanian phenomenon may explain the relative discretionwhereparticularfoundationmythsare concerned. since they first decided to enter Europe. For almost two centuries. Foralmost two centuries Romanian society has beenin crisis. a European spirit. with not verysignificanthesitations and exceptions. the Romanian pantheon of the nineteenth century was made up almost without exception of princely figures. The predominant criteria were Romanian national sense. subsequently . as we have seen. Potential saviors are always available. where structures are ceaselessly taken apart and remade. but it is certainly characterized by an exceptional intensity.then. Great restructurings oblige historyproduce to exceptional individuals. and establishment of a hierarchy naturally reflected the major reference points of the time. But if the archetype is universal. capable of ensuring the social equilibrium and prosperity of the country.PRINCE THE IDEAL 191 ended up amplitjring it: it is an excellent illustrationof the strength and persistence of the archetype.

Themost symbolicfigure. who surrendered the land to the Turks without a fight (even if Stephen the Great had to submit in the end.and of coursethePhanariots. that his great project be renewed. and Ioan Vod5 the Terrible also illustrate vigor the and will to independence of the Romanian lands. They express the glory of anti-Ottoman resistance. The long. Another ruler much appreciated in the nineteenth century was Matei Basarab. and flourishing reign of Stephen presents the model of anexceptional and durable Romanian political construction. and in historical literature (the greater part of Dimitrie Bolintineanu’s Ffistond Legends centers on them). the bridge between Dacia Traiana and modern Romania. in general.Vlad Tepeg. Slightlybehindthe two greatsymbolicfigures of theMiddleAgeswefind Mircea the Old. What is certain is that it is not the founders so much as the voivodes. associated by conflict with Vasile Lupu. by the complexes of a small country. The attitude can easily be explained by the historical canons of the time. which were inseparable from the military factor. and cultural merits are recognized. who are placed in the highest levelsof the pantheon. regardless of the price paid. as a matter of duty. exceptional his political. unity.Theyarethe most frequently and extensively evoked rulers in school textbooks. It is the same with rulers of foreign origin-Despot Vodii. by Romanian national-political objectives (independence. on the other hand. Petru Rare?. the defense of their own country and concomitantly of European Christendom. and. are rulers. The more discreet invocation of Iancu of Hunedoara is explained byhisequivocalRomanian-Hungarian position. and through the efforts of the Moldavian ruler to attract Wallachia into a common action. affirmation as a regional power). military. In Moldavia there was a similar lack of clarity concerning the Dragog-Bogdan duo. who illustrated the historyof the principalities in their ageof glory. proud that it had once held great European powers in check and aroused the admirationof the world.witha few exceptionssuch as Grigore Ghica.192 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS underwent acrisis of credibilityandendedupbeingexcluded from history in favor of Basarab. the perseverant and independent defender of Romanian territory and its unifier by the acquisition of Dobrogea. and especially his vocation as defender of autochthonous values in face of the Greek offensive. after Trajan.who is himselfhardto approach. The privileged position of warrior heroes seems indisputable. apart from the glorious episode of Posada. . for example (who was moreover a Protestant in an Orthodox land). and likewise the idea of Romanian solidarity-through the union of 1600. such as Petru Aron. authoritarian. political in speeches. submit after a To fight is more praiseworthy than to submit without a fight. Michael’s tragic end places him in the ranks of the martyrs of the Romanian people and demands. It is as an exponent of“Romanian resistanceyy he that is invoked by Mihai Eminescu. Unfavorably regarded. is offered by the double image of Stephen the Great andMichaeltheBrave. it was after a series of wars). who was killed by the Turks for his opposition to the seizure of Bukovina.

which. undoubtedly play an essential role. Many emerged in this way from anonymity. prior to the installation of King Carol I towards the end of the century as the dominant personality in the Romanian pantheon. are capable of marking a place for the Romanians on the map of Europe. and hesitations. and signification are fixed with maximum rigor. Despot Vod5 without Alecsandri. The question is how these shades of the past manage to live a new life. School. the preservation of social peace. especially when they give examples of wisdom in governance. in 1821. Vlaicu Vod5 and Lady Clara without Alexandru Davila? It is no wonder that prose writers and dramatists are attracted towards the secondary figures. and school textbooks. Michael the Brave expresses himself heroically in Bolintineanu’s lines: . but not in any random way: it is personalized at the very top. followed by Alexandru Toan Cuza. occupy a second rank compared with the holders of power. or great cultural achievements. However. the great heroes of the Romanian people also have a distinct place in literary evocations. situated in any case outside the “heroic” zone where they can be evoked freely with all their passions. and to no less a degree Matei Basarab and Vasile Lupu. the principal names retained are those of Tudor Vladimirescu. Romanian history appears highly personalized. Neagoe Basarab and Constantin Brincoveanu.THE IDEAL PRINCE 193 The peaceful rulers are not forgotten. before turning to some specialized monograph on the subject. however. of Tbs Three Mwketeers. re-actualized the Romanian national principle. The great animators of the national idea and of modern culture. even if we are historians. an existence of a different nature to that of ordinary n mortals. owe their important place in the pantheon to such achievements. For the modern period. Richelieu. we automatically think. the prince of the union. So it is with the Romanian rulers. When we hear the names of Louis XIII. LazQr. hierarchy. But literature with historical subjects has proved no less important in the effective resurrection of heroes (continued and complemented in the present century by cinema and television). who are often controversial and even neptive. like military glories. Anne of Austria. Rkvan and Vidra without Hasdeu. treacheries. in the consciousness of each generation. The current image of certain periods or personalities is shaped more often in pure historical fiction than in historical works or textbooks. Asachi. They do not acquire a banal surplus of ordinary life but a surplus of symbolic charge. Heliade Ridulescu. The romantic literature of the nineteenth century conferred on them a force and a presence which the history textbook alone could not guarantee them. Alexander the Good. often very intense. What would Alexandru Liipugneanu be without Negruzzi’s short story. the ‘cfounders” of Romanian culture in the Romanian language. It is here that the selection. Mihnea Vod5 the Bad and Lady Chiajna without Alexandru Odobescu. the revolutionaries of 1848 and the unionists of 1859. We find them more often sung and glorified in verse than “dissected” i prose. and the Duke of Buclungham. who. ambitions. “Master Tudor”.

as evoked by Eminescu in “Epistle 111”. so simpleinhisspeechandinhis dress”. nothing buta symbolic essence remains. takes up again the dialogue of Dromichetes and Lysimachus a millennium and a half earlier. poetry says all there is to say. and still want to live. But on the contrary.0 my captains. and patriotism of a people who seemto be outside history are set in opposition to the conquering greed of the great empires. Mircea the Old. wisdom. his breath an icy wind. This “oldman. Of Dromichetes and Mircea themselves. In each case the simplicity. and a Romanian am I. Deserve to bear it to their shame! This is the Romanian’s way. who teaches the arrogant Bayazid a well-deserved lesson. And his words are thunder. ’ [*-I . If it sounds twice. as Eminescu summons him to reintegrate the country within its borders and restore its values: Stephen your Highness. If the horn sounds once. The woodswill come to your aid. death: that is what I ask! Those who bear the yoke. sinks into the realm of archetype. And harsh is the ringing of his mail.194 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS I do notwish you life. The symbolic figure of Michael is a condensation of the highest potential of Romanian heroism. phenomenon: the same voivode appears transfigured into a cosmic [*-I [“I The savage voivodeis clad in mail and in iron. He wears a giant dome above his forehead. And under the barbarian yoke I will not bow my head (“The Last Night of Michael the Brave”) in And Cogbuc. No less “trans-historical” is theimage of Stephen the Great. m i l e the axe in hisleft hand reaches to the heavens And the voivode is a mountain. You will gather dl Moldavia. (“Pasha Hasan7’) What more is there to add? Thetextbook becomes useless. Do not stay in Putna Rise up from your grave That I may hear your horn sounding And Moldavia gathering.

They became symbolic fictions. Painting complements. not wholly prepared to accept the arbitrary rule of an authoritarian prince. Butover and * Doha a variety of Romanim folksong. inwhichGrigore Ureche setdown hisassessment of thereign of Stephen the Great. acquiring permanence in an eternal time. typically concerned with longing. In them a belief was concentrated. and Michael are in this sense makers of modern Romania and of Greater Romania.. But the figure who owes most to the painter is Tudor Vladimirescu. but what is certain is that that was how Tudor was to remain in the consciousness of the Romanians. thesameStephen speaks out from beyond the grave and beyond history to confirm thecornunion ofgenerations in the spirit of the eternal Romanian ided: “Keep in mind the words of Stephen. was not mine.. often he would kill at feasts. Truns. who.historical literature. grief. Stephen. and quick to spill a innocent blood. His favorite hero is Michael the Brave. without a trial [. without which nothing would have been possible. Mad Tepeg also features in a painting of 1862-63. whom he painted in a long series of compositions and portraits (mostly between 1864 and 1870). DEATH THE BOYARS: E FILEO N IOAN VODA TO W The words. Mircea. atld is not yours. are well known: “This Stephen VodQ was man of no great size.. Thus the voivodes were taken out of history and raised above it. It is hard to say how much likeness there is in the portrait painted by Aman in 1874-76.. It wasexactly the moment whenCuza was imposing a new style-of relativeindependence-in relations with the Ottoman Empire.]. etc. who wasyourshepherdfar into hisoldage [. furious.and often illustrates.”3 It is beyond doubt the viewpoint of a great boyar of the seventeenth century.I. All the enemies will perish From border toborder. The genre reached its peak in the work of Theodor Aman. but belongs to ourdescendants and our descendants’ descendants to the end of time. admiring overall but not without a critical edge. but what does it matter? The image of Stephen the Great that is imprinted in public consciousness owes much more to this play than to any document of the time or scholarly monograph. . Nothing is more powerfulin the life of peoples than a national symbol. pinning down the terrified Turkishenvoyswithhisproudandfearless look. showed a preference for the heroic anecdote. like Bolintineanu.THE IDEAL PRINCE 195 If it sounds three times. that Moldaviawas not my ancestors’.” The words are those of the great orator Delavrancea and in no way those of the old ruler. called to a new life by the act of artistic transfiguration. (“Doina”*) In BarbuDelavrancea’splay Szlnset (1909).

referring to VladTepeS: “The tortures and executions which he ordered were not outof caprice.196 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS above the expression of specifically boyar interests. D. is ready to pass judgement on anyone. but always had a reason. in his turn. telling for the intensity with which the principle of authority is manifested. consistent with the erosion of the liberal spirit in Romanian political culture. The balance of rightcontinuallyshiftsinthedirection of the rulers. The prince knows what he is doing. from one case to the next.transcending“class”borders. the principle of authority hnctions. even amplifying his critical judgement. What is striking in the modern period is the attenuation.clearlyenough. so that they tend to cancel out the splendor of his warlike deeds (which even the include the massacre of prisoners). He gives up “inconvenient” assessments (showing not the slightest reservation concerning Stephen the Great. while Stefkipi is condemned by most historians of the pre-communist period for the unjustified killing of Luca Arbure (only to be approved after 1944 precisely because he liquidated boyars. .explicit or implicit. Xenopol is not afraid to characterize the rulers with all their failings. especially without a trial. The “slaughter of the boyars” comes to enjoy the favor of historians and of public opinion. victories of the great ruler contributed in the end to the exhaustion and decline of hiscountry. and sometimes even renunciation. justified by the necessity of putting a stop to the anarchy of the boyars. Paradoxically. Grigore Ureche proves to be closer to a liberal spiritthan the modern historians. including the rulers.S Iorga. the the “betrayers of the country”). even good sense. too.”6 If wecomparethe two “typicalsyntheses”provided by Xenopol and Giurescu. C. It isahistoricalinterpretationwhichupholds. and what hedoes is good forthecountry: this argument. with variations.C. which was harmful to the generalinterest.withacts of power being justified through the prism of the higher interest of the nation. Giurescugoesevenfurther. for example) and justifies practically any arbitrary act of power by invoking state interest. it is true. and finally disappears. of suchcriticalassessments. guns more and more ground. Stephen the Great. A.showstheapplication of freejudgement to one of the great figures of the past. but in his case. In 1828 the already-mentioned historyof Moldavia from a boyar point of view (Notlveatl tableazt historipe et poktique de /a Moldavie) still insists along the lines of Ureche. on the cruelties of Stephen the Great. I repeat. the project of a boyar oligarchy better able to run the country than a single man: but it also.and very often a reason of sta. but in general the conclusions he reaches are more favorable than the premises would suggest: thus he notes the cruelty of Stephen the Great. it is basically a judgement of It is not normalthataruler.te. should kill whenever he thinks fit. A wave of European humanism and of modern political spirit flows through the words of the old chronicler. Criticismof Stephen the Great becomes rarer and rarer. but makes it clearthat“thebloodwasshedintheinterests of the country”.Accordingtothesameauthor. we can see the progress made by the authority principle between 1890 and 1940. Thus.

others he chopped in four and others he buried alive as if they were dead. including the well-known portrait. give way in the nineteenth century to a portrait no less ideologized.thenkeptalive that sense of religiosity. a ruler much appreciated by Ureche but despised by almost all theRomanianhistorians of the last two centuries. who took the opportunity to launch into oneof his fewhistorical-literary polemics. more than his conflict with the Turks.THE IDEAL PRINCE 197 The list of rulers left to do whatever they thought best is variable. so that by shaking the foundations of that establishment. whose annihilationthreatenedthefoundations of Romaniansociety: “[ . Of particular significance is the case of Petru Schiopul. P. Carp draws attention to the fact that the boyars and monks whom the prince persecuted were positive classes at the time. a condottiere.Andwantingtotakethesavings of everyone. Ioan VodQ the Terrible. it is clear that democratic ideascanonlybe of use where a powerful den itat is able to . and the explanation is the passion for wealth of a usurping adventurer: “[. whichis no more than a Hasdeian fabrication. in 1828. but diametrically opposite to the original version. In contrast.I those very monkswho areindeeddangerousnowadayswhentheyare powerhl and do wrong all the time. courageous and brilliant like condottieri.”’ We find the same clich6 with Grigore Ureche. interpretations which certainly have passed through filter the of a boyar and ecclesiastical ideology. and whose only means were tyranny and cruelty”.. but once included on this list the ruler could get away with anything. led to his downfall.I. The Junimist reaction came through P. “a great administrator. all whose only target was the throne and not the good of Moldavia. The “new” Ioan VodQ owes almost everything to Hasdeu. His position in Moldavian the chronicles is that of the bad governor par excellence. by no other method but the shedding of blood. weakness in face of the boyars (the boyars being the only people who were in a position to affirm divergent points of view) is treated with contempt. In 1865. Ioan Vod2 was threatening our nationality itself. a great general”9-and above all a persondity who had seen the need to reform the society of his time against the dominant class and taking into account the interestsof the many.which. Carp. accusing him of sodomy because he had heard that he had assembled great wealth [. contributed to giving the us necessary strength to defendour ancestral hearths against the Turkish invasion. more than anything else. Azarie attributes to him “the ways of a wild beast” and recounts his wrongdoings in macabre detail: “And some he decapitated and took their wealth.”* Even much later. so that his own grew by unfair accumulation. The motive of personal enrichment and pathological cruelty. IoanVodQ remains “an adventurer. He put Gheorghe the bishop in the fire alive him.. and others he skinned like sheep. Hasdeu in saw him a statesman of striking modernity. the boyar version of Moldavian history seesin Ioan VodQ a rulerhated by all socialcategories. For Carp. Ioan VodQ represents one of the most striking cases of ideological transfiguration.. every day he invented and burned new sorts of tortures. a great politician. in comparison with the great slaughtererof boyars.which...I he shocked all with his enmity and withthehorribledeathsheinflicted..

” l o However. Giurescu. and their logic is easy to decipher.198 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS neutralize the despotic aspirations either of a class or of a single man. Some later. absolved the prince of any hint of gratuitous or interested cruelty. mentions the crueltybut also the “courageous resistance”of the voivode in the face of the Ottoman onslaught. time C. It is worth noting that A.while Onciul. the historian decided. a faithful rendering of the clichk.we shall see that this fear is indeed very well founded. if there must be a yoke. A politicalaction on thescaletheydesired could not. “that suchaccusations of cruelty. which peasants protected in loyal are by the prince and boyars are treacherous. Xenopol. hewrites.not in Carp. who repeatedly came in for rough treatment at the hands of Hasdeu. . the executionswhich he ordered “must havehad a justification”. m d so 3s to !zg zidz any ambiguity he renounced the epithet “the Terrible”. It is certain that. In the time of Ioan Vodii. even the great Junimist historians &d not go a p n s t the current. and. himself to noting the exaggerations. to see if the feelings or aristocratic interests of theclasstowhichtheRomanianchroniclers generally belonged are not pushing them to distort the truth. and that if any prince was unfairly judgedby the chroniclers of the land it was certainly hirn. it was Hasdeu who emerged victorious the case of Ioan VodQ. accredited by Hasdeu. he now became the hero of the play Cbmnichs by Mihail Sorbul. the liberation of the common people from the yoke of the clerical and lay aristocracy could have no other comequence than to put the same people under the yoke of the throne. consistent with historicalhis political conception.’’11 Hasdeu and Xenopol are the two great historians of liberal orientation of the later nineteenth century (they were even militantly involved in politics). brought by the chroniclers agamst a prince.motivated by clerical interests. be achieved without an authoritarian government. I do not propose to follow the posthumous career of the controversial prince in detail. C. in a few lines. should always be treated with caution. I prefer the yoke of 1.000 to the yoke of oner n a n . They are adversaries of the boyars and partisans of social reform and of progress in general. “I have observed”. of thechroniclerAzarie. In the case of Ioan VodQ. however. Ioan Bogdan limited. It is true that theirhistoricaljudgement concerned a period that had long passed. but it is informed by a certain political mentality: the cult of the “savior” and the imperative of social order and national solidarity. The ends wereliberal. speaking instead Ioan VodQ Brave.13 of the The triumph of Ioan Vodii in Romanian historical consciousness provides an interesting index of the extent and intensity with which the principle of authority was affirmed. on this occasion.12 The return to the foreground of the peasant problem with the rising of 1907 served Ioan Vod5 well. D. but themeansless so. broadly follows the same line of argument.

15 Everyone sees. what they want to see when they look at the face of the voivode in one of the best-lulown images of a Romanian ruler. Wedo not need to discuss the accuracy of the information in the German chronicles (which is present also in a somewhat attenuated form in the Slavonic chronicle).THE IDEAL PRINCE 199 “WHY Do You NOT COME BACK. the sunken face looks pallid and sick. he expresses unconventional opinions. the chronicles of Wallachia did not even offer the dark image of Ioan Vodg. fdtered through another national sensibility and another ideology. but no more. The vampire Dracula and the great patriotic ruler have a common origin. Applying the “physiognomic” method of Lavater. Where this ruler is concerned. Hasdeu attempteda“philosophy of the portrait of Tepeg”. Even if Tepeg was not responsible for a single one of the dreadhl deeds attributed to him. as curious as it is significant. astorycenteredequally on the anti-Ottoman struggle and on the uncompromising justice symbolized by the impaler’s stake. LORD The symptom par excellence of the need for authority is seen in another myth. The same stories. of the sadistic originality of the ruler. where it hangs alongside other monstrosities. but fair and devoted to the two supreme principles: order within the stateand independence in external affairs. were also the source of the Romanian myth. to Shakespeare. or from various German chronicles a andSlavonic chronicle. they start from the same point and providearemarkableillustration of thecapacity for transformation which is characteristic of the imaginary.r and the Geman and Rtlssim Narratives . He appeared as a quite ordinary prince. But few know that the famous portrait in the Castle of Ambras in Innsbruck is part of a corridor of horrors. The stake has become a political symbol. the Romanian myth was constructed precisely from this bloody image of his reign. the information about Tepegis not Romanian: it comes either from Byzantine historians. which originatedin the English-speaking world (inventedby Bram Stoker in his famous novel of 1897). which was woven around Vlad Tepeg.14 Otherwise. this summary information was supplemented by the anecdote of the peoplefrom Tirgovigte who were obliged to work at Poienari “until their clothes burst”. if indeed it is not the usual mark of degenerates”. especially concerning the acts of sadism which are attributed to him. of course. the symbol of an authoritarian prince who was harsh.The macabre stories of a human monster thirsty for blood lie at the origin of the well-known Dracula myth. a tale which gives an idea. When he comes to the Ambras portrait he notes that ‘(the lost and staring eyes seem tired by a long nervous irritation. where the conflict with the Turks is concerned. It is from these foreign sources that the modern version the story of Wad Tepeg has been of constructed. especially Chalcocondylas. In the case of Tepeg.16 Ioan Bogdan does not fall back on such subtleties. On the basis of one of the engravings. the ingenious historian likens the Muntenian to Borgia even ruler Cesare and. about whom it was known only that he had built the citadel of Poienari and the monastery of Snagov.” In V h d Tqe. as in many others. the disproportionate size of the lower lip betrays an uncontrolled nervous tremor. because that was what the times required. more surprisingly.

‘ favored the emergence of the myth. Tepeg succeeded in cleansing the land of “evils within”. is the final verdictof the incorrigble Junimist. who was indeed a great sovereign and the respected arbiter of half a century of political equilibrium. Mutatis mutandis. who had seen in Tepeg “a i ! cruel tyrant and a monsterof humanity”. Vlad Tepeg found a place in the first rank of the pantheon. appears as authoritarian. the discussion comes to a close: Vlad Tepeg did what he had to do. with the support of the majority of historians and of public opinion. regardless of the personality and indisputable contribution of * “Cum nu viitu. between Ioan Vodii and Tepeg on the one hand. andCuza on the other. Sincai considered that the accusationsa p n s t him were partly “made-up stories”. Tepeg was a revolutionary. It is interesting to see the association that could be made. The decisive words. the tales told of Cuza are similar to those of Tepeg.. for both rulersarereduced to anarchetype. The real personality of Carol I.19 Bolintineanu puts the blame on the boyars: the prince’s tyranny was necessary to put a stop to the even worse despotism of the aristocratic class. Its purpose. into a protector of the poor and righteous.20 Xenopol does not minimize the “horrifying cruelty”.Cuza.. and his bloody acts are not unique but in keeping with the spirit of the times. the great Slavicist agrees with Engel.all those (and they are many) disoriented by the disorder of Romania1 society. in the historicalpolitical imaginary of the nineteenth century. a reformer. by corruption and injustice. relentlessly just.r doumne.. words which seem to be engraved in the consciousness of the Romanians: ‘ m y do you not come back. into a military organizer of the country.200 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS abot/t H (1896). could not fail to affect the arrangement of thenational pantheon. and even into a genius of the nation”: “We ought to be ashamed of him.?”:from the closing section ‘%Epistle 111”.21 With Giurescu. but he notes that this had “a political aim”. Lord Tepeg?”* From Eminescu to the present day. however. and the imperative of education in the dynastic spirit which had hitherto been absent from Romanian political culture. In putting a stop to the anarchy generated by the struggles between factions boyar . have never ceased to invoke Tepeg with his summary but exemplary and efficient justice. In this sense. Ttpe. and leaving the stake aside. Hasdeu’s Ioan Voda‘ echoes Cuza across the centuries. however. not to present him as a model of courage and patriotism”. are those of Mihai Eminescu. and the defender of the interests of themany. He distances himself from those Romanian historians. Published in 1865. no great lover of the boyars. Truns. of .18 Ioan Bogdan argued in vain. who are prepared to transform him“into a great and braveprince. The establishment of the dynasty in 1866. from Laurian ‘and Heliade to Xenopol and Tocilescu. too.Anauthoritarianinclinationcombineswith an antiaristocratic and pro-reformcurrent. The resemblance is far from fortuitous.

only served to connect them. at the battle of Nicopolis in 1396 Carol’s ancestor. transitory. association.THE IDEAL PRINCE 201 the king. The impen‘alpara&land the association with founding act as a important as that of Trajan raised Carol I far above the Romanian voivodes the of Middle Ages. to the land which lay along its lower reaches. The People andthe Kingdom belonged to eternity. like Mircea. on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary the battles for independence). Carol consolidated his position following the war of independence and the proclamation of the kingdom in 1881. putting the stamp of eternity on what his ancestor’s old comrade at arms had done before him. one more than Stephen the Great) allowed the myth to come to fruition even within his lifetime. Onciul reserves almost half of the whole . incomplete. of Carol. the Danube. which he had crossed in 1877. Moreover. of a scion of the famous dynasty with the destiny of the Romanian people. A historian usually prudent and moderatein his assessments but inclined towards a highly personalized history and firm in his dynastic convictions. Carolappearsorganically rooted in Romanian history. half a millennium later. Dimitrie Onciul’s From the Hi~totyof Romania. situated near its source. the others. mediocre at first. provisional. The four are Trajan andDecebalus. EvenMichaeltheBravebecomes a secondary figure by comparison. His long reign (of forty-eight years. had It was a profoundly symbolic fought alongsideMuntenian the voivode. After a difficult and contested beginning to his reign. took on a powerful brilliance in the last years of the century. may give an idea of the scale of the myth. lay in the necessity of fixing the political edifice of modern Romania in people’s consciousness. but a beginning based on much older foundations. symbolized by the royal person. prefiguring the definitive identification. An educational poster of around 1900 presents “the four pillars of the Romanian people”. Frederick of Zollem (the founder ofthe great Hohenzollern family).fortieth anniversary of the king’s accession to the throne. added the territory of Dobrogea to the country. Themomentof apotheosiscame inthejubileeyear of 1906. whichwaspublished on this occasion. alongside them a special position is occupied by Mircea the Old. along with other heroes of Wallachian history. The image of the sovereign. The Danube. the Danube. The Romanian pantheon now saw a drastic simplification. with whom Carol carried on a veritable dialogue across the centuries. Two figures stood out clearly from the rest of the heroes of theRomanianpeople:TrajanandCarol I. The rulersinvoked in associationwithCarol. Theywerethe two great founders of the Romanian people and of the kingdom. are Stephen the Great and Michael the Brave.CuzaandCarol I. Alongside Mircea. down which the prince had traveled in 1866 on the way to his new country.sometimeseven by the king himself..22 Finally. the Danube itself offered the symbol of a predestination.the . he represents a new beginning. and that edifice was constitutional monarchy. of course. Indeed. Carol I himself had passed through Nicopolis in 1877 (he returned in 1902. which linked the principality of Sigmaringen.

marks the beginning of “a new era in the development of the Romanian state”. In this way. “one of the wisest and most listened-to sovereigns of theday”. . Here too we are in presence the of a man who is “different”. This includes the complete union of the principalities. Carol I frequently appears as omniscient and giftedwith a superiorunderstanding. The reign of Carol.” It goes without saying that “he was loved by us far less than he deserved. Antipa quotes CarmenSylva: T3er Majesty the Danube met His Majesty King CarolI.admitted on a provisional basis.”25 Basically nothing is false. a subtle diplomat. but everything is hyperbolized and bathed in the light of myth. “The Vodi speaks only seldom and always with substance. mild. a skilful strategist.wise. good. who brings together a formidable set of qualities. The great naturalist Grigor Antipa. Carol is raised . thegreatriver and thegreatkingrevealtheir common nature ascosmic phenomena.” It was also the queen who said that “even in sleep he wears his kingly crown on his head”. the Vodi only stays at table for half an hour.he demonstrates. the Vodi does not drink. the moderation and sense of duty which characterized Carol himself. He is “careful and unparalleled for thrift”. given that at the time of Cuza’s abdication “the union was not recognized as a merging of the two lands in a single state but onlyas a personalandadministrativeunion.an educator of thepeople.recountshisfirstconversationwith sovereign thus: “I hadtheimpressionthat I was beingexamined by a true specialist. fair. Moreover. Even the flourishing of Romanian culture is presented largely in terms of the interest shownby the ruling house. the with whom he was in closecontact. reducing the complexity of historical factors to a single or determining impulse. On the occasion of a trip on the Danube. the Vodi lives in the palace like a hermit in his cell.” Seen through the eyes of‘htipa. made of other stuff thanordinarypeople. Carol emerges as a quite extraordinary figure. He is a “giant777 whose“powerfulpersonality” and by CC great intelligence” the scholar feels “completely dominated”. in the various accounts devoted to him. understanding. the Vod5 does not throw money out of the window. Carol King was the first to the ruler take title Trinceof Romania’ and the constitution promulgated by the new prince was theconstitutive document of the unitary Romanian state? It is significant that the union itself is shifted from Cuza to Carol. But the myth goes further than this.202 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS course of Romanian history for Carol I. Onciul attributed to the sovereign the role of initiator in all the great evolutions of modern Romania. too virtuous. in particular. the VodQ does not like fiddlers. But whatcould we do! He was too wise. “a man of a vast culture and great universal consideration”. and.24 No less inclined towards transfiguration is the account written by the writermonkGala Galaction. a brave soldier. too guiltless for us. separating the figure of the king from the world of ordinary mortals and organizing the whole of Romanian history around him. who wrote an interesting memoir of the first king of Romania. whose knowledge of the issue was better than my handling of it in the paper I had presented to him. worthy. We cannot imagine Romania around 1900 without the political equilibrium which the dynasty provided.

but also of the explicit integration of Ferdinand in the long line of makers of Romanian history. Faced with this indisputably glorious reign there is no point. of There followed a period in which. Matei Basarab and Vasile Lupu. Events were turning Romanian history in another direction than that traced by the founder of the dynasty. Mircea the Old and Alexander the Good. He was theking of thewartomakethe people whole.featuringTrajan and Decebalus. Horea Clo9ca and Crigan. The way was open for the mythologizing of the second king. Cantemir and Brincoveanu. and a closeness to people that helped him to hear and understand the profound voice of the country and its aspiration towards the national ideal and . To no less a degree than Carol I. In contrast to the Olympian nature of Carol.Bucharestwasthescene historicalprocession. and a generalflourishing of theeconomyandtrade. in dissonance with the general orientation. Alba Iulia.. became bearer symbol the and of the historical Romanian achievements of theage. Of course it was not Carol. 2 that had come from outside with the destiny of the Romanian nation which it had embraced. Avram Iancu. Ferdinand is characterized by goodnessand humanity. starting from real psychological data as well as from the need to highlight the distinct profile of the new founder. Stephen and Vlad Tepeg. The coronation of 1922 was symbolic of a new foundation.. Even the choice of the place of coronation. known as “the Loyal” for having the strength to break connections withhiscountry of originwhencalled to do so by the supreme interests of the nation which had offeredhimits crown. Michael together with his captains. the king of sacrifice and of the Romanian victory in that war. The further back we look themore the. CaroI 1 6 The moment ‘marked the full identification of a dynasty . Dobrogea. As themyth-makmg processfolloweditscustomaryrules. Tudor Vladimirescu.since.thegreatclassics of Romanian culture.Meanwhile. directly recalled the great of an immense act of MichaeltheBrave.). who achieved all these things. Ferdinand. independenceandthekingdom. a shadow came over the myth of Carol as a result of the “pro-German” solution favored by the king in 1914. It was a sad exit for the bearer of a great myth. In all cases myth-making follows the same process: history is personified by its reduction to the deeds and virtues a central figure. mechanism of powerseems to be incarnated in a single person. it is different.railways.it must be recognized. in fact a muchlesspowerful personality his than uncle. in no other period was so much achieved (the political structures of modem Romania. or not Carol alone. he was ajunder. so that his death could only be felt asa relief. but nor did Stephen or Michael do what they did alone: that is our illusion.Ferdinand. to each in part.Dragog VodQ and Radu Negru. Cuza. the’king who gave land to the peasants and introduced universal suffrage. asking how much was due to the king and how much to others. of course. the king of Greater Romania. although it was not altogether forgotten. The mythologized personality of King Ferdinand is no less singular than that of Carol I. given that we are in the realm of myth.THE IDEAL PRINCE 203 evenhigherthanStephenthe Great or MichaeltheBrave. and. However.

as the years went on he established his vocation as that of a new opener of roads. and sometimes it carries great weight. Carol I.The royal dictatorship installed by Carol belongs in to fact a family of authoritarian regimes in the Europe of the time.29 of Carol I1 aredifferent from those of his The styleand“mythicoutline” predecessors.2* The reign of Carol I1 hadto appear great from the begmning. coming after two founding personalities who had largely exhaustedthe resources of myth. His problem proved. The centenary of his birth in 1939 was amplified into a national event. In any myth-making discourse the remote ancestors have a word to say. to be that of fixing a place for himself in the national mythology. a dutifd newspaper noted that “the miracle has happened”-the miracle being “after eight years. He is the king of youth.conferences.”27 The third royal figure to be mythologized was Carol 11. Initially a “consolidator” and “perfecter” of his predecessors’ work. proved to have more valorizing power. and a new country meaning “the work of regeneration” of the king and the multitude of “royal foundations” that were on the way to transforming Romanian society. “he crowning moment is constituted by the years of royal dictatorship. the king of the peasants (whom he aspired to raise economically and to illuminate). the founder of hndamentally different structures. Autochthonous interpretation. a new country”. and powerful country. philatelic issues. the work of Megtrovit. “The completion of our borders and the restoration of our dear landtohertruecourse”. comments Gheorghe Carda?. always in the midst of people. After cold the solemnity of Carol I and the evanescence of center of all Ferdinand. markedwithfestivals. however. In seeking his own legitimization. Carol wanted to be a founder too. Carol is a god.volumes of evocations or documentation. the erection of a majestic equestrian statue. and as there was nothing left to found in the strict sense of building Romania. not least. Carol was carell to distance himself from previous dynastic mythology. regardless of what was really achieved out of this program. Thus the new regime could be related to the tradition of the Romanian voivodes. with a personal combination of majesty and populist familiarity. dynamic. Carol was inaugurating a new historical cycle by returning to a “red exercise of power”along the lines of the rulers of theRomanian lat1ds. we find a coordinated propaganda effort (illustrated by the far from negligible bodyof poetry exalting his virtuesand hishistoricalmission).30 Once again. even before they were realized. the mission which he took upon of himself was the making a new Romalzia. present in the that was happening in Romanian society. his image is that of a modern king.204 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS social justice. the king of culture. Ferdinand a saint. emerged a p n from the relative shadow which have we observed. ’ . for whom he had a strong admiration. civilized. On the eighth anniversary of his accession to the throne. on a site between the Royal Palace and the building of the Carol I Foundation. and. from the beginning. by means of projects. In his case. while still leaning on it. “have been achieved under the protection of the king with the face and hands of a saint: Ferdinand the Loyal. He set out to raise Romania to the status of a prosperous.

The coming of Carol I to the country is put. A SECOND DYNASTY? There was. nevertheless.andsince for almost a century the Liberal Party was the principal political force in the country. a second dynasty. and CarolI1 “the maker of eternalRomania” (as well as being‘(the father of the villages and the workers of the land” and “fl1e king of culture”). What is wholly remarkable in Cezar Petrescu is the splendid isolation of the sovereigns. the only names mentioned are royal.with an essentiallypartypolitical purpose. is linked.translucent and silky. like an ornament for a festival of praise. and Michael.32 It is. an eagle quietly hovered. Beneath it. and on the ancient blazon of Sigmaringen [.. as was only proper. with the namesof its sovereigns. Ionel) (or BrQtianu-in great the moments and stages of the construction ofmodern Romania is beyonddispute.. the sign of the definitive hlfrllment of the myth. Politicims completely disappear. Even in the monarchist discourse of the present day his personality is passed over rapidly. Cezar Petrescu’s book The Three Kngs (1934). in which they are reduced to three: CarolI.”3* The landing of Carol 11. but rather responsible for eroding the Romanian democratic system. everything . however. on his return by air from exile in France. Carol I is “the maker of the kingdom”. A golden sheaf of light rays burst through. Especially since his abdication in 1940 he has been more more and insistently portrayed as a playboy dissolute king. the same eagle is on that the blazon of the country. a myth of liberalorigin. synthesizes the triple royal myth in its highest and purest form. this is an indigenous dynasty.]. Ferdinand “the maker of Greater Romania”. Where he concerned the countermyth has proved as strong as the myth.parted and a patch of blue sky. evidently written to order and destined for villagers. on the blazon of Radu Negru. The transcendent sacrality of the HohenzollernSigmaringendynastymeetsthesacralityspringing from national roots of the Briitianu family. A rainbow raiseditsarch. Everything that has been done in Romania. was lit up. In the extreme version. in the scattered light. and unscrupulous. clear and deep. Ferdinand. and thus the two hypostases of the foundation myth-the exterior and interior versions-are combined in a single synthesis. Briitianu and IonI. absolutely everything. A distinction can be seen between the complete gallery of four kings and their ideal gallery. Carol and the voivodes belonged together to the eternal Romanian present. in a sense. C.THE IDEAL PRINCE 205 mythology proved to be profoundly integrative. becomes. a “descent from the heavens”. In contrast to the dynasty that came from outside. is Carol I1 is a special case. of course. a national myth. But since the role playedby the two great Briitianus-Ion C. under the sign of cosmic miracle: “For a moment the clouds. not in Cezar Petrescu’s book but in other books and other compartments ofthe collective memory. this party myth has become. and linked exclusively. certainly not the builder of a new Romania. metaphorically.

the year of Tudor Vladimirescu’s revolution. Such a disagreement is reflected in P. He wanted independence. and brings whoeverhe wants7’.34 As with the kings. of team: “As far as we areconcerned. and eyesthatsmiledandenteredintosouls. He wanted there to be a kingdom. open and attractive. and his “grave.206 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS is owed to the Briitianus. According to Duca. the king was good at very little. even in military matters (a judgement in perfect antithesis with Antipa’s amazement at the king’s multiple competencies!).35 The road to Damascus has its own indigenous political version: “I was going along the street in the company of a colleague when our path was and crossed by a man of medium stature. He presentsCarol I as a mediocresovereign. and he organized it.37 There was no lack of protests at the Britimist confiscation of history. especially on the part of conservatives. the process is flagrantly visible. lackingwill and initiative he could only have become a great king thanks to the merits of his advisers. so that historymarkedhim out for themission of completingtheprocess of change which was begun then. Duca. symbolic connotations are powerfully highligllted.incapable of understanding the great problems of the age. with gray curly hair beard.waspromulgated.’His face remained in my mind and I did not hesitate any longer.As for Ferdinand. just as in the royal myth everything is owed to the kings. . Ion C. and even on the very day that the rural law. Thus Ionel Briitianu “comes to power when he wants.” In a speech delivered in November 1886 a p n s t those who wereattributingto Britimu the merit of having created Romania. Nor was Ionel Britianu born in any ordinary year but in 1864. since anything is possible in the mythological logic. sums up the political action of Ion C. My colleague said: ‘Look. He wantedaforeigndynasty.“His listened-to”. I was a liberal. C. leaves when he wants. With I. C. as are great the democratic refomsuniversal suffrageand peasant property-and in general the workof consolidating the Romanian state.allthiswas whom one is the keystone and the other the foundation of national sovereignty. Briitianu was born in 1821. But it is no less true that the promoters of the second myth have tended to push the first into the background. Compared with Briitianu. that is Briitimu. G.”33 Accordingtothesamesystem of interpretation. and he brought it into the country.thecreation of Greater Romania is owed Ionel to Britianu. He does not even recognize Carol’s role in 1877. word was holy and which he waslater to complete. The ground was thus completely clearedfor Britianu and the great liberalfamily. as ‘it is well known that “the struggle for independence was led by Ion Briitianu”. Britianu. it and happened.andhepresidedoverit. the others are mere marionettes. P. Duca. the year of the great reforms. Carp’s formula: king the “the and foot soldier. A warm face. of course. Christ-like face” is also commented 021. Briitianu thus: “He wanted union the of the principalities. stays as long as he wants. I. A liberal leader. it is said of I.”36 Is it possible to combine two myths which are each as exclusive as the royal myth and that of the Briitianus? It is. the Junimist leader proposed a quite different founding done by two other people. and achieving in forty-eight years of rule less than Cuza had in a mere seven.

evenRomanian that the delegation international women’s conferencewas led by a man. A queen is not anordinarywoman. There are a few heroic figures of the second rank in the modern period too: Ana Ipiitescu in 1848.”38 The conservatives disappeared from the political scene after the First World War. This applies. . who sends of her son to victory or death (“Go to the army. But the who want upper reaches of the hierarchy find it hard to accept femininity. successive governments of Romania are striking for their almost total maleness.only two m n e s come into the discussion: Queen Elizabeth/Carmen Sylva. subaltern position as witness and moral supporter of the great male enterprises. domain in of which her qualities as creator and protector were amplified. we find the women of olden times evoked in Bolintineanu’s portrayal the mother of Stephen the Great. and second. but afigure who sharesin the sacredness of the hnction.”It remains for the psychologists to give their verdict. in a marginal. to take two examples from literature. when a number of Islamic states women have prime ministers. Gentle Lady Elena. and especially cultural activity. . The triad of female “evildoers” of thelasthalfcentury-ElenaLupescu.whiletheBriitianus remained in powerand in the pantheon. who bore so much from Cum Vod$ is a significantexample of thetype of woman who is accepted. / Not that my son has died. but equally dependent on great men. Butnot for long! FEMININE MYTHOLOGY: QUEEN MARIE Women are not much wanted in Romanian historical mythology. 207 These two are as follows:first. or the mother of Michael the Brave.AnaPauker and Elena CeauSescu”on1y confirms the apparent rightness of the Romanians’ distrust of women in power. and Ecaterina Teodoroiu in the First World War. / But that evenby his death / He has not unbound the Romanians.THE IDEAL PRINCE . The installation of the dynasty somewhat modified ‘the indigenous feminine typology. the Romanian foot soldier. The myth-making process did not go very far in the former case.Thisis what hasallowed a numberof greatqueenstoberespectedleaders of countriesotherwiseruled exclusively by men.KingCarol. In thecase of Romania. It has been to the observed. as it was limited by the powerful personality of Carol I. A woman can enter the mythology. Women to impose themselves “at the top” are regarded badly. Even today. regardless of hersex. of course. with their prestige considerably tarnished (Carp himself declared that he had hoped Romaniawouldbedefeated. The space reserved for the queen a was limited to the areas good works. . but only in a place fitting for her. not without irony. In a more heroic version. for the country die”). and Queen Marie. to LadyClara and Lady Chiajna. In this respect mythology is only reflecting a current and almost general prejudice. for herowngood). with her extraordinary reaction to her son’s death: ‘Your news is very sad.

Constantin Argetoianu writes thus: <Whatever Queen Marie’s errorsbeforeandafterthewar. including what she actually did during the war. in contrast to Carol of King Ferdinand. which Ferdinand shared with Queen Marie.. She is the only woman in Romania who has risen to the very heightsof myth. She knew no fear of bullets and bombs.I We find her in the trenches among combatants. the in forward positions. among sick. amplify. the page of which she may boast. Queen Marie was the embodiment.among the wounded. She was much more than that. Queen Marie fulfilled her duty on all the multiple fronts of her activity. in the most tragic moments. We should also take into consideration the real merits of the queen. we find her present wherever people met to try to do some good. A Carol I with his frozen dignity. of the highest aspirations of the Romanian consciousness. the needto keep up of hope in difficult times-all led inevitably to the mythical formulaof the savior. We may state that during our displacement to Moldavia. [. the page that will seat her inhistory’splace of honor.thewar remains her page. we find her i the n the hospitals and all the medical units.208 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS With Queen Marie the situation is quite different. or invest with a surplus of meaning facts that may be very real. Myths are frequently “undeserved”.’’40 . the tragedy a separate peace. the symbol of confidence in find victory. a man with and Elizabeth. far from kind in his appreciation of the queen.. the fate of the country and the people. and a fine embodiment. and. who was little inclined to admire his contemporaries and who was. in this context. It is certain that the queen did not limit herself to the traditional feminine role of ccmotherof thewounded”. It is worth noting the account given by acynic. They not isolate.althoughthis was not absent from themythology (some versions even accredit her with healing powers. But what really helped was the war. the less than convincing image considerableintellectual. on other occasions..thedisaster of defeatin1916. but above all in encouraging and raising the morale of those who lived around her and who had to decide. It is true that the times called for more. like the monarchs of old).abilities but timid and equivocal compared with the outgoing character of the queen.perhapsevenmorethan one figure to sharethis mission. just as she knew no fear or disgust at disease. The grandeur of the national ideal which had suddenlybecometangible. she was (do not propose to separate the reality I from the strictly mythical in this respect) the living consciousness of Romanian unity.themobilization of energies in the following year.39 Her remote origin may have been a positiveasset-she came from another world and was somehow a different being. or impatience with the often useless efforts provoked by her desire for something better. or a Carol I1 withhismajesticyetfamiliarstylemighthavebeenable to carrythewhole symbolic charge of the moment. The Romaniansneededasavior.

Shedid not managetoentertheregencyeither. On this occasion Aron C o t q wrote the significant poem “Lady Marie”... across time. he would have built. coming from the pen o. and as one of the greatest figures of our national history”. pushed her completely to one side. in and ferocious builderswithout sleep. and agan in 1918. 1 preoccupied with his own historical stature. However.. through these mountains. and in a more prosaic age.thequeen. the queen also tried to obtain a suitable role in the years of peace which followed. would have gathered soldiers crowds.f a skeptic! Conscious of the role she had had and of the force of the myth which played in her favor. Her death in 1938 proved. from the hardest stone. whereshereceivesthehomageofthegreatheroes of the Romanian people: Decebalus. in which the queen appears as a providential figure come from faroff shores to infuse the Romanian nation with a new force..when‘(almostonlythankstoher”Ferdinanddid not ratify the disastrousTreaty of Bucharest.PRINCE THE IDEAL 209 By the wayinwhich she influenced Romania’s entry into the war in 1916. Trajan-Emperor. He himself.. ..“established herself as a founder of Romania in its new wholeness. one day. over these plains. that the myth was still intact. and in his violent princely arrogance.. trembling . Basarab would have pulled the Carpathians from their roots up to bury under them any foreignarmyif he had felt. The displays of grief and gratitudewerenumerousandsincere. the mythical vocation of the queen could no longer manifestitself. up to the heavens-Sarmisegetuza . on the Jiu rivers . amazed. going farbeyondtheofficial ceremonial framework. Stephen the Great would have halted his stormy armies far off.41 A heated characterization. Following the wellfinds her place at the highest point of known mythological procedure she Romanian history. if he had known thatone day you would come. however.Argetoianuconcludes.in blood and sweat. that you would come. would have remainedon the spot in his iron heel.. m d Carol 1 . served by conventional politicians. if he had seenyouon the water-beaten shoresof the mighty Danube. the great Iberian. times had changed.

as you passed thoughtfully along the bleeding pathways MoIdavia. Today her figure has returned to view. revered by all.. but the myth can no longer have the force of three-quarters of a century a. the hero of MiEgegti. was forgetting. of he would have ordered to be built without delay Moldavian monasteries. His military success. Eremia Grigorescu. from his proud cavalcades. Romania lacks great feminine myth. Jinos Hunyadi would have if Michael the Brave had seen you. The myth was prolonged and amplified in the first years of peace. Quite simply. or more than one. and the gestures of the general filled many Romanians with the conviction that they were in the presence of a savior.. white and alivewherever he went the land would havegrown in an instant. and your step of imperial stock. the form.42 Almost fifty years of communism severely eroded the myth of the queen. INTERWAR SAVIORS We have seen how the war called insistently for a savior.. cannot explain everything. the look. which was in any case only relative.... A third figure must be added. The artism of the victory of Mjriigti awakened a boundless trust in people’s souls. under his iron tread-m empire . on the sites where your deep gaze had rested the most. The mechanism of .210 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS to look at you. probably due to the sheer ignorance of the authorities!). The few references that were made sought. who providesuswith a typicalcase of myth-making:General(later Marshal) Alesmdru Averescu. but different passages from those we have just looked at).. the only one capable of setting the country on a new historical course. the most efficient of all. with the hypocrisy characteristic of dictatorships. especially in peasants in uniform. The solution chosen. with his two eyes like thepw@. and how the role was played by King Ferdinand and Queen Marie. to highlight the queen’s se?rual immorality (again with extracts from Argetoianu. stopped short.. in general her name was not even mentioned (though it is interesting that her image was preserved in the sculptural composition of the monument to the “Medical Heroes” in Bucharest. Averescu now appeared as the potential reformer of Romanian society. never enjoyed anything like the same degree of mythical transfiguration. Before your august sight. ago.

and demobilizedmen brought it backtothevillagesas they mighthave brought any illness.. wearing his plain blue wartime coat.So the soldiers became accustomed to on his seeing in him a “savior”.political ambitions. H e never courted popularity. 211 myth-making is interestinginhiscase. but more in the traditional sense of a career in politics. he did not seek contact with a multitude that could be electrified. . in the end. Men fell to their knees. then a teachertried to mutter a speech. staring crowd. [. the cleaning up of political life-were embodied in a chosen figure. People’s hopes-victory in the war. but he proved mythical program (the disappointing because what was expected of him was more than that: it was the traTz$gmation of Romania. nodded. Here is what Argetoianu. Averescu stayed put and let the flies come to him. and. to the disappointment of those who had put their trust in him. even in desperate situations. and he hadmanagedto do so every time. While he was in uniform he never went down into the trenches. and advanced towards the excited. and after he had taken it off and put on party clothes be n e w went dow11zk/o the uillgees.. property rights. kissed the hem of his blue coat. who was beside him in the crucial years. (France experienced a similar adventure in 1887. he lacked the messianic drive. Lord. and when it caught him he was the most amazed of all. for the sake of our salvation!”’43 0 The purity of the myth is perfect in this case.thenthepriest. Argetoianu also describes one of the general’s rare “field trips)): ‘cAverescU out got of the automobile. unlike candidates for dictatorship. andset off on foot along the rows of people..THE IDEALPRINCE . and at the start ofthe war it never even entered his head that such a thing might be possible: popularity ran after him. of course.. without saying anything.I Like the spider in the middle of its web. did nothing to cultivate or to protect it from the blows of his opponents. sighed deeply and whispered: ‘Preserve him. of the red qualities and intentions of the person in question. but their words stuckin their throats. so amazed that he did not know at first what to do He it with it I. Some politicians and a section of public opinion saw in him a new Bonaparte.. and did he all could to keep people away from him. the general withdrew at the last minute. He stayedin Bucharest or Severin. [. The general had.I The general shook their hands. Averescu became prime minister and actually carried out part of the 1921 law granting property rights).andtheygraduallystartedtocall protection not only for their needs at the front but also for those at home.. Pushed by the illusions of others towards dictatorship.]. General Averescu hadbeen sent to sort them out. writes: The popularity of General Averescu was a psychosis of the front. The origins of this psychosis must be sought in the fact that whenever things were difficult on one front. regardless.) .firstthemayor. with General Boulmger as the hero.

the “dynasty” of the Briitianus. but in Transylvania Avram Iancu appears. a charismatic figure whose assassination on the orders of the royal dictatorship regime conferred on him the halo of martyrdom. the exponent of the “military state”. .212 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS The need for saviorswas to become a permanent feature of the interwar period. even the “dismounting”. The revolution of 1848 provides no ilidividualized faces in the principalities. and Marshal Ion Antonescu. Ferdinand. the new saviors had a totalitarian vocation: it is the sign of an importmt evolution in the political imaginary. C. The traditional political class inspired less less and respect. and. so different in other respects. as we have seen. as a vision”. with and The first voivode represented is Mircea the Old. who was called to regenerate Romania after the collapse of 1940. we see Carol I. with a first saving action i 1930 when he returned to the country and to the throne. Tudor Vladimirescu. followed by the “age of peace and faith” personified by Neagoe Basarab and Lady Despina in front of their foundation at Curtea de Argeg. Let us consider the selection. is symbolized by an anonymous knight being received bread salt. Cuza and Kogjlniceanu represent the union and the great reforms. against a background of representative events and monuments. and Ionel Brhianu. followed by Alexander the Good. Queen Marie. Ferdinand. The “Romanian crusade” has its heroes in “Ioan Corvin” (Iancu of Hunedoara).to health” by a abandonment of theliberalanddemocratic pathway on which modem Romania been had built. with Trajan and Apollodorus of Damascus. The notable progress achieved by Romania generated imbalances and frustrations. inaugurated in 1938. Queen Elizabeth. a highly charged historical process involving several and real legendary figures. the assuming of a mission involving a radical restructuring of Romanian society and n its “restoration. Carol I1 and the great voivode of Alba Iulia. the in with installation of the royal dictatorship. after which Michael the Brave a w n stands alone. We may notice with all these saviors. Gheorghe Laziir. In contrast to Carol I. The rebirth of Romanianism has as its heroes Horea. Lupu. followed by a second beginning 1938. The aspiration towards a new world the and totalitarian model encouraged the identification of providential personalitieseverywhere. “in the middle ground. Clogca and Crigan. Then Stephen the Great stands alone. and I. Its somewhat official character means that the choice of figures represented is particularly significant. In the Romania of the n 1930s these saviors were three in number: Carol 11. after which the fresco is reserved for the royal dynasty and its double. they are accompanied by Vlad Tepeg. who illustrates the “administrative state”. The ‘cages of culture” are individualized through Basarab. seconded by Buteanu. and Constantin Brincoveanu. Briitianu. We return to the great fresco of theRomanianAthenaeum. “Captain” Corneliu Zelea Codreanu.44 The sequence begins. There follows a space without any named heroes. of course. the “great Oltenian”. Thus. against the background of the citadel of Poienari (a pictorial solution for his ambiguous historical status). and Briitianu. Vlad Dracul and Stephen I1 (the last being a curious choice. Matei Vasile Dimitrie Cantemir. probably arising from the desire to represent Moldavia by a contemporary of the first two).

especially where the period of Romanian national rebirth is concerned (a natural consolidation after the union of 1918). Tudor Vladimirescu. lay and progressive. ”he Legionary heroes follow in their footsteps. which are directed a p n s t foreign invasion: Horea. through history. the army. The Athenaeum fresco represents the pantheon in its completed form. and cultural effervescence).46 As a revolutionary movement.sense of Romanianpurityandsolidarity among Romanians:thisis what explains exceptional the position of Stephen the Great in Legionary historical invocations (in the spirit of Eminescu’s “Doina”). We are far from the French model..THE IDEAL PRINCE 213 Prince Michael (the last two associated with scenes illustrating urban life. This was thecaseinthe1930swiththeLegionaries. whose pantheon proved to be appreciably amended compared the with official 0ne.they often preferred the great defeated. As well as the dominant “princely” note. LEGIONARY MYTHOLOGY ”he more “different” an ideology.justliketheirgreatpredecessors: men like M o p and . which was characterized by a high degree of polarization between the historical reference points of the two Frances: revolutionary France. t was a generally accepted pantheon. The voivodes are not ignored. The search for consensus and for a respected authority to were justify. Avram Iancu. a feature of the Romanian historical and politicalconsciousnesswhich is extremely relevant for all that followed regarding the nation/leader relationship. they are men of an ideal for which they are ready topaywiththeirblood. those by whose martyrdom a great idea had been perpetuated. and conservative France. promoting the purity of autochthonous values and the moral and religious regeneration of the nation. more the different historical its reference points. somehow atemporal. and from the dominance of the political to theaffirmation of Romanianspirituality. the Legionaries shifted the accent from the zone of power to that of revolt.Beinginclinedthemselvestowards sacrifice. Catholic and monarchist. but they are valorized more according to how they express the ancestral. for example. the myth of the providential hero tends to become identified withthe myth of nationalunity around thesavingfigure.45 For the Romanians. and a more accentuated integration of Transylvania. at the end of a century and a half of elaboration and on theeve of the disruptive intervention of the totalitarian regimes. such as we find. did not affect the overall coherence of the model. we may observe the emphasis placed on the cultural phenomenon (consonant with the culturalizing atmosphere of Carol II’s reign). Differences of interpretation and emphasis. Clogca and Crigan. to the conquerors. in the school textbooks. The revolutionaries arehighlighted and interpretedfromthe point of view of the hndamentally national dimension of their actions. industry.. even I in the more delicate contemporary section where Cuza goes hand in hand with Carol I while the kings and the Briitianus avoid casting a shadow over each other. the turn towards authoritarianism and totalitarianism.

being mentioned as as only far was necessary to underline the evil they had done to the country. who fell in Spain in the fight against Bolshevism. to liberate him as far as possible from the chains of matter. of course. founder the of a different very Bucharest to the cosmopolitan and corrupt capital of GreaterRomania. am I in my own Bucharest or in Tel-Aviv. and the prophet of new times. The legendary founder features in a drawinginwhichhe is lost among thenon-Romaniancompany names on Calea Victoriei. The essence of the national history and of Romanian spirituality is expressed either through triad the HoreaEminescu-the Captain.in fact victorious in theperpetuation of the Dacian spirit. FROM BALCESCU GHEORGI~IY-DE] TC> In restructuring Romanian society from its foundations and rewriting the history of the country according to completely new criteria. the historical sensibility of the nationalist Right in the 1930s. and history. is summed up in these two great renewers of thehumat1spirit: "Tile Captain took bodily form in order to change man himself. whose mission is toleadustothecleanness of times gone by. There isBucur the Shepherd. disappeared. Mihai Eminescu. And thisis what was to happen before long. it was Stephen the Great and Eminescu that Petre Tutea invoked towards the end of his life. The Captain was in direct continuity with Crucified of G01gotha. Unexpected figures also appear. setting them above all the others. decades later. in its first phase. for example. The latter saw as the he “absolute characterizing him in a striking formula “the lyrical sum of h e voivode~~~. Re-actualizing. too. and the Captain himself. The kings. From Jesus Christ to the Captain no one had the attempted such a transformation. who prefigured Christianity. and wonders: “Lord. to spiritualize him. whose nationalist doctrine was claimed the Legionaries by as their principal ideological reference point. proceededtoreorganizecompletelyandgiveanewmeaning to thegallery of national heroes.’~49 Further than that it was not possible to go. The Britianus. Palestine?”47 Two forgers of national religion occupy the highest positions in this pantheon: the great Dacian Zalmoxis. not just that of the Romanians but that of the world. Stephen “the most Christiandefender of Christendom”. is preferred to Trajan. communism. or through the succession ZalmoxisStephen the GreatEminescu-the Captain (Zalmoxis the being “greatest precursor of Christ”.48 as However.and Eminescu “the announcer of the Romanian triumph which the Captain bestows in our days and bestows just as our ancient Zalmoxis required”. But itwas possible to go just as far in another direction. . there are moments when all the national heroes appear insignificant ill comparison to the holy shade of the Captain.213 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS Marin. Then only Jesus remains before him. In the same spirit the defeated Decebalus.

auld Tudor Vladimirescu were taken over from the traditional pantheon and well integrated in the communist ideology. Historians. Horea. Moreover. was propelled to the highest zone of the pantheon. and the scholar-prince’s Russian exile made up a precious page in the Romanian-Russian chronicle. But the most representative heroesthis version in first of communist mythology are not princes. however.5* to Some rulers. the leadersof uprisings. “betrayed the interests of the country”. -he even appeared on the stage of the Romanian Opera i n Gheorghe Dumitrescu’s musical drama Ioan Voda‘ the Tem‘bh (1954). as did all the great politicians who had made modern Romania and who were charged with being exponents the “bourgeois-landlord” regime. providing a significant chapter in Rommian-Russim relations. even those who were Russophiles or slaughterers of the boyars. His fr treatment of the great boyars did not pass unnoticed. of The earlier rulers remained. could only provide a list of names without any biographical consistency. The best regarded in the 1950s w a s r o u l d it been have otherwise?-roan Vodii the Terrible. while “the peasantry continued be exploited”. the tsar’s visit joint anti-Ottoman campaign. novelists. Gheorghe Doja. were unfortunately. and composers outdid one another in evoking and actualizing redoubtable the voivode.THE IDEAL PRINCE 215 disappeared. Clogca and Crigan. and workers’ struggles. initially a mere “revolt”. but in a less glorious position. which had become one of the great chapters of Romanian history. emphatically national. but the spokesmen of the great class conflicts. a predominantly social. the movement which he had led turned into a ‘‘pe. relative to other rulers. they could never cancel the fact that mass of the “the peasants.S2 There was recognition of some of Stephen the Great’s merits and deeds too.lSantwar’’ on the model of Engels’s “German peasant war”. He had “defended the interests of the class of boyars”. in their turn. who helped him in his campaign of 1574. antito feudal view of their movements. dramatists. revolutions. His treaty with Peter the Great. No names of leaders available. the slaughterer of boyars and lover of peasants. painters. enjoyedbetter a treatment than others. Even the Bobilna revolt. and his relations im with Kiev and Moscow were another plus point (his own marriage to Evdochia of Kiev and that of his daughter Elena to the son of the grand prince Ivan I11 of Muscovy). with a shift of accent from the old. affected by their condition as representatives of the exploiting feudal class. continued to live in misery and to suffer cruel exploitations”. DimitrieCantemir was also promoted. Bilcescu became the . in a state of serfdom. the minor Szekler noble who became leader of the revolt of 1514. However significant the merits of Stephen the Great. by hisclose to Iagi. who had.53 Quite against his will.5* Michael Brave. to his great credit he had been the ally of the Cossacks. interpretation. the relations with Russia. a Spartacus of national history could not be found. With the things even were clearer. . for the fictive slave revolt in Dacia. on the other hand. The revolution of 1848 provided the supreme mythof history rewritten by the communists: Nicolae BiIcescu.

arid the same author’s epic novel A Man amozg M a y . Here. it followed that only Biilcescu had been right. of course. as his fellow revolutionaries did. and General Magheru. Bdcescu also had the merit of having attempted a rapprochement withtheHungarianrevolution. He was “helped” in this ascent by his romantic-revolutionary intransigence the and consistency which had with he sought the’emancipation and property rightsof the peasants (his ideal. In the 1950s Bilcescu became omnipresent: a pivotal figure in Romanian history. and murders. all became “Bi. he was obliged to place his posthumous glory in the service of the communist project. or betrayal according to their distance from the model. the hero of plays and novels (e. his bust displayed in most towns.216 HISTORY AND MYTH 1N. theothers being guilty of hesitation. among them Ana Ipitescu. a society of small producers. including Avram Imcu and Simion Birnu$u (who was treated even more severely). It was not easy toidentifythe correct way and the personalities who had been right.lcescu”. things were complicated from the very begmning. As truth was-from the point of view of a totalitarian ideology. 1949. particularly as the appreciation of one moment . In chronological order there followed. his position in the provisional government being a secondary one). In Bilcescu. Bilcescu served the imposition of theidea that there was only one right way. died before could he end up minister or prime minister in a government that would inevitably have been “bourgeois-landlord”.ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS central figure in a large-scale manipulation.againstwhich all other projects and personalities had to beevaluated. the play Bdcesm by Camil Petrescu. In order for him not to be left alone he was joined by a few other pure revolutionaries. The history of the Romanian Communist Party punctuated was by mutual accusations. indivisible. In fact he became the “leader” of the revolution (which he never was in reality. however. his with face on the principal banknote in circulation (100 lei). error. and his name on the front of a variety of institutions. almost no other name being conceivable). the “liberator” of the provisional government in June 1848.andheroes of thestruggleagainst the “bourgeois-landlord” regime. and they remained complicated until the end. he had young. inparticularschools(thehighschoolspreviously named after Carol I or Briitianu. another second-rank figure projected into the limelight. Above all. the heroes of the working class.socialistand communist heroes. @e association of the three revolutionaries inevitably recalls great boulevards the axial of Bucharest: “Britianu-Lasciir Catargiu” renamed “Bdcescu-Magheru-Ana IpQtescu”. the communist regime found the ideal symbol of the absolute revolutionaryideal. saw their status diminished as the penalty for an orientation which was judged to be too nationalist in the context of the Romanian-Hungaria1 conflict of 1848-1849. but at least it fitted the anti-boyar and pro-peasant demagogy of communism). was not exactly the communist ideal for society. 1953-1957. plots.g. exclusions. a hitherto almost unknown figure who suddenly became a celebrity of the moment. the heroes of the Romanian revolution in Transylvania. and indisputable.) In the anti-national phase of Romanian communism. and the famous Saint Sava College in Bucharest. In contrast. and ever1 more in perspective the of the ccscientific” ideology of communism-single.

who werehenceforth mentioned onlyoccasionallyin order to be branded. Among the names which were more or less highlighted. who had no aspirations. Each political tremor instantaneously produced a corresponding historical tremor. even posthumously.F. history of the respectivepersonalities. was invariably associated for a long time with the epithet “the traitor”. Where the interwar period is concerned it is worth noting that the principal communist leaders were excluded. inwhichhehadbeeninvolved.wasrecognized as a forerunner. The fall of LucrefiuPQtrQScanuin1948. who was killed in 1944 as the result a settling of of accounts. who remained alone. with no need to fear competition. the “father” of Romaniansocialism.thepartyleaderroseabovethe others. more accurately.THE IDEAL PRINCE 217 mightnot be valid next Through the day. Constantin Dobrogeanu-Gherea. of thehistory of theR. the predecessor of Gheorghiu-Dej. who Other heroes were promoted from the lesser ranks.P. at.hehadtopay for his daring theoretical points of view. to the supreme leadership. and which formed a two great revolutionary heroes. and especially the great Leader. On the other hand. half a century of communism. the C. Gheorghe Cristescu. annexed to himself a good part of the history of the past decades. and vice versa: the rise power brought aboutthe amplification of to previous biography. In 1900 the two greatfigures of the simplified pantheon were Trajan and Carol I. I might mention Stefan bridge between the Gheorghiu (who gave his name to the Party’s “Academyy’) and I.Ferate Romhe (Romanian Railways). To fall from power meant to drop out ofhistory. Stefan Fori?. even the complete rewriting of an entire segment of history.F. C.R. or. it might be said.R.R.becamethekey moment of contemporary history. as they had not been implicated in the internal disputes of the interwar period. the “founder” of the Party in 1921 and its first secretary general. who in fact served to point to and justifj him.mythology a p n ! ) while he was * Criill. These succeeded in annexing the history of the P r y regardless of ‘the effective role which had been played by the others.54 The Grivita strike of 1933. in the 1950s they were Billcescu and Gheorghiu-Dej.followed by that of the Ana PaukerVasile Luca-Teohari Georgescu group in “deprived” 1952. This sort of “purging” ensured a comfortable position for Gheorghiu-Dej. were which considered deviations by Marxist orthodoxy. Like Bilcescu. A specialcaseis that of Vasile Roait5. everything gravitated towards the living leaders. It was. withhisfaithfulfollowersin the second rank. Frimu. They maintained a relatively stable position in thecommunist pantheon. Gheorghiu-Dej. Trans. .* phase of Romanian history.theteenagerkilled at Grivip (C. without it ever being made very clear or what he had betrayed. but remained a controversialfigure. even of a retrospective kind. especially his opinion that Romania was insufficiently advanced on the road of capitalism and thus unready for the taking of historical initiative by the proletariat. most of them former railway workers (the longest lived being Chivu Stoica). remained out of history for a long time.

indeed. dedicated his life to the revolutionary struggle. or originated in petit-bourgeois or even social and intellectual elite circles). the heroes who fell in the Spanish civil war or in the French resistance. Eforie Sud. The myth of the “illegalist” now took shape. rose the great figures of the communist pantheon: Marx and Engels. truly a radical change. or the victims (apparently very few if we go by the names listed) of Legionary and Antonescian repression-for example Filimon Sirbu. they were sufficiently minor figures to pose no threat to the position of the leader. was initiated by an older comrade in the secrets of Marxism-Leninism and the revolutionary movement. executed for treason and sabotage in the interests of the enemy. however. The gradual acquisition of a relative autonomy and the orientation of Romanian communism towards nationalism eclipsed. and the changing of the name of a seaside resort from Carmen Sylva to Vasile Roaitii. could not defeat him. than the men. the effective structure of the communist “elite” before 1944). (Its present name. full of self-denial. This was the period when the revolutionary woman was affirmed. The illegalist came from a poor family of workers or peasants (which was not quite true: many communists either had a “classless” marginal background. related to men more often in the comradeship of struggle than in the didectic of the sexes (which explains the promotion of h a Tp5tescu in the events of 1848).55 By their origins.218 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS sounding the siren to call the workers to the struggle. in other words. but well above the usual proportion of women in the sphere of Romanian political mythology. Above them all. regardless of its diverse personifications. The progressive Romanianization of the Party would be paralleled by the gradual Romanianization of its interwar history.56 Finally. the illegalists justified the proletarian revolution and legitimized the new regime. I shall mention only the famous revolutionary song “Roaitii’s Siren”. In the 1950s. to a rigorous typology. should calm the passions!) We might also recall Ilie Pintilie. experienced hardship and oppression from an early age. For the first time in Romanian history the supreme heroes no longer belonged to the national storehouse of personalities-a reversal which says much about the initial relationship between Romanian communism and the Romanian nation. little by little. Roaitii enjoyed a remarkable posthumous celebrity. by the nobility of their ideals and the heroism they demonstrated. Among them we find a relatively high number of women: fewer. the reinvention of a history more Romanian than it had been in reality. the Party and the People. On the other hand. and. the gigantic . even death in many cases. who died under the fallen walls of Doftana prison in the earthquake of 1940. a martyr of the communist cause. we may note the relatively high number of illegalists of both sexes who were of nonRomanian ethnic origin (reflecting. however. Lenin and Stalin. subordinated. The purity of young blood is often invoked in revolutionary myths as a symbol of the justice of the cause and the hope embodied in youth. of course. leaving even the leader in a subordinate position. Prison and torture.

Stalin. taken from the history of Russia and the Soviet Union. and the others. Herzen. culminating in 1877 and in the Second World War. and the famous teenage heroine Zoia Kosmodemianskaia. on the 50 lei banknote.accusedinhisowncountry.inthe“Rollerperiod”. These were the years when the Romanian pantheon tended to become a mixed. a victim of the Nazis in the “great war the defense of the fatherland”. In the shadow of Stalin. between Bilcescu (100 lei) and Tudor Vladimirescu (25 lei). In a capital which had been left almost without statues. . “Sdnteia House” (J’dnteia. Cuza’s effigy was to appear. Towards the end of the 1 9 5 0 with the complete “rehabilitation” of the union ~~ of theprincipalities. renamed Cum Pmei f i b e n (House of the Free now Press).PRINCE IDEAL THE 219 personalities of world (or Soviet) communism.Previously. required as part of the strict observation of a ritual. fell from hispedestal. Ivan I11 made his entry alongside Stephen the Great. it is still home to a number of newspapers and publishing houses. FROM BUREBISTA CEAUSESCU TO In the nationalist phaseof communism the pantheon was reorganized. The Romanian-Russian brotherhood of arms could seen be all through history. at leastthroughthefact that one of the main Bucharest high schools bore her name until December 1989. and also to the Romanian Stock Exchange andthe Ministry of Culture. the survival of Lenin’s statue undeniably marked the true reference point of a communism which claimed to be national. multiplied in Romania in the 1950s. and Peter the Great withCantemir. Aleksandr Fadeyev’s novel Tbe Yomzg Gt/ard broke all the records for popularity (eight Romanian editions between 1947 and 1963). The type of the Romanian illegalist was modeled on that of the Bolshevikfighter.Bilcescu found his correspondents in the Russian “revolutionary democrats”.Alexandru Ioan Cuzawas brought backtohistraditional dominant position. RomanianRussian-Soviet pantheon. kept companyfor many for yearswithyoungRomanians. Tram. resuItingin a hybrid structure in which pre-communist historical tradition wascombined with the originalcommunist mythology of class struggle. other geater or lesser heroes. significaitly (since nothing is haphazard and non-ideologized in communism).ButLenin’s statue dominated the entry into Bucharest until December 1989 (withan inspired setting in front of the Stalinist architecture of Casa JdHteiP). until their invocation became little more than a matter of form. Chernyshevsky. from which the monumentsof the kings and the great politici&s had disappeared.reservations had been expressedconcerninghis“hesitation” and inconsistencyinapplyingthe great reforms. the was Romanian Communist Party’s daily newspaper): a massiveSoviet-stylebuilding of the 1950s whichwasthecenter of state publishing during the communist period. ‘The spark”.Children and teenagers learned what it meant to be a communist hero according to models which were more often Soviet than indigenous. the only ones which remained in ‘circulation ~~~ ~~~ ~~ *.

and at the price of some controversy. the exponents of the nation and the state. but in complete agreement with the new political-ideological demands: the unity of the whole people around the Party and the Leader. Unfortunately. and rather later. which Ceaugescu wanted toincarnate. the most spectacular rise was. The “comeback” of the prince of the union illustrated the (relative) shift of accent from revolutionary to national myths. It was somewhat contrary to the ideology of class struggle.thehistorians of the nationalist phase did all they could to absolve the Romanian revolutionary of any obligation towards the Etairists. that of the “holders of power”. separation from the Soviet Union.220 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS until 1989. It is clear that Ceaugescu. not so well regarded in the 1950s. had a particular admiration for MichaeltheBrave(althoughthisdid not prevent him ordering the demolition of the Mihai VodQ monastery in order to improve the view of his own palace). After Andrei Ofetea had striven to demonstrate the close links between the two revolutions (Tndor Vhdimiresnl and the Etainst Movement in theRomanian Lands. 1945). Legionaries.andtherolewhichCeaugescu aspired to play in world affairs. in that of Horea). but others were raised. invoked con being successively by liberals. Vlad Tepeg andMirceathe Old alsoreceived . and nationalistcommunism. exclusively or predominantly anti-noble or anti-boyar. A major historiographicaloffensive was launched inthetime of Ceaugescu around his relations with the Greek Etaireia movement. their contemporary presence was justified in terms of their importance. It seems that Ceaugescu. but also depended on the conjuncture and the succession of commemorations. Horea Tudor and more comprehensive than that of simple Vladimirescu acquired an ideology revolts.fed on readingsfromBolintineanu and Cogbuc. with the increasing affirmation of nationalism they were pushed into the background in comparison with the holders of power. became now h l l y justified. but he could no longer be the leading personality Romanian history. was keen to idefltify himself with the great crowned figures of the past. They were affirmed as exponents of the nation and their movements changed from “uprisings”. BZlcescu remained the great figure of of 1848. the Dacian kings and great medieval voivodes. the privileged exponents of classic communist mythology. The Tudor file is exemplaryforthelogic of historicalmythology.themarking of Romanianindividuality. The new pantheon was not going to sacrifice the heroes of class struggle. Thus theprincipalvoivodeswerelined up again at thehighestlevel of the pantheon. himself the bearer of a (presidential) scepter. An ideology may. invent new heroes or change the image of those already appointed. in any case the maker of the union of 1600 expressed more than any other ruler the idea of eternal Romania. with the same effect. However. Stephen theGreat. as I have already said. to “revolutions” (first in the case of Tudor. In the context of 1848 we may note the Eull valorization of Avram Iancu.he was not eliminated. Tudor is not able to tell us to which of his admirers he feels closest! However. “internationalist)’ communism. The hero of1821 passed all ideological examinations brio. his struggles with the Hungarians. as they were in the 1950s.

fully after his harsh fiscal measures and his oppression of the peasant masses had been condemned in the “class” phase of historiography. making up the originary triad of national history. Vhd Tepe. a fdm which breathes the ideology of the 1950s. was the national communistsproved to beconvinceddynasts! Not only the traditional Decebalus. in internal and external affairs. stamped on a Dacian pot. But the most remarkable phenomenon was the massive orientation towGds antiquity. albeit in an attenuated manner (Russians: good friends. who interpreted the words “Decebalus per Scorilo”. SttphentheGreat: Vasht 7475 (1975). his entire life. Where Dacia concerned. whichwasstrictlyideologizedandcarefdly controlled. in a highly patriotic and actualized vision: Michael the Brave (1971). but Dromichetes. At the origin of this promotion lies the “scholarly joke” of Constantin Daicoviciu. placed were in the limelight. the appeal to the Dacian kings. the conflict: strictly social). addressing the great leader. Even Constantin Brhcoveanu was rehabilitated. is also mentioned by the Latin author Frontinus. but his placing ina well-defined dynastic context gave him extra prestige and significance. To them he dedicated his entire activity. who overnight became the father of Decebalus. Much effort was also put into identifying the Dacian kings between Burebista and Decebalus. Dimitie Cantemir (1975). at congresses plenaries. then theprincipalrulersbecamecinema heroes one after the other.in1967and1968. It wasfollowed. The commemoration of 1980 served to point out a striking similarity between Ceaugescuand Burebista.THE IDEAL PRINCE 221 intense coverage in the regime’s propaganda. it is worth recording the amusing adventure of the figure of Scorilo.”5* This was how Party activists expressed themselves. The historical cinema of the communist era began in 1963 with‘Tztdor. Without going into the details of this thorny question. especially and Burebista. forgotten. A Scorilo. State continuity required a dynasty. the craftsman who stamped the pot could never have dreamt of the impact his banal gesture would have centuries later1 Cinema production.regardless of nationality. provides a good barometer of the rating of personalities.57 Nor were the ‘ccultura17’ rulers.B3cescuandGheorghiu-Dejin the 1950s. Thus Burebista was “animated by the burning desire to raise up his folk. Bzmbista (1980) and Mrcea the Great (1989). like Neagoe Basarab and Dimitrie Cantemir. as meaning “Decebalus the son of Scorilo” (per presumably meaning “child” in Dacian. boyars: all bad. the evocation of their deeds made it easier to support the “protochronist” theses. Burebista and Ceaugescu in 1980. even a professional historian like Ion Horatiu Crigandid not hesitate to write words of homage addressed to the Dacian king i the manner of those addressed n to the communist dictator. Now the solemn formula ‘Becebalus per Scorilo” was even inscribed on the base of a monument to Decebalus.by the treatment of origins: The Dan’ans and The Colzmzn. may and We note the successive avatars of the“simplified”pantheon of the Romanians: Trajan and Carol I around1900. by analogy with the Latin pzder). French and British: supporters of the Turks.r (1978). about whom little is known. .

more about theDaciansovereigns. As we can see. Michael. Neagoe Basarab. Here is howthegreatfigures of history are laid out: Dromichetes and Burebista. Mircea Mupt and Ion PQtroiu. Stephen. Glad and Menumorut. Mircea. Romanian Land of Moldavia.whoseriseinstatus However. Tudor Vladimirescu. Roland Borp and Bogdm. a with Transylvania situated. Decebalus. Mircea. Mircea. Cum. Stephen. Decebalus. Clogca and Crigan. Stephen. I shall say no I havealready noted. Gheorghe Doja. listed the great ages national of history. Even the Hungarian princes of TransylvaniaareintegratedintotheRomanianschema. inhiscomposition The First President. the Dimitrie Cantemir. Ceaugescu. two ideological officials who were qualified in history.weneed look no hrther than the sequence of busts lined up in front of the National Military Museum in Bucharest-anofficialand competent guide. Clogca and Crigan.(Their list of great leaders is slightly different: Dromichetes. aTransylvaniavoivode of thelate thirteenth century? Not only can they now hear of him. The selection and grouping of the heroes invites commentary. as follows: Burebista. they can see him too. Clogca and Crigan. wearing a tricolor sash but with the Party emblem placed in front. and Cum.Brincoveanu. on the same levelas the other two principalities.) All thisonlyservedto point towardsCeaugescuand“theage of dignity and the fulfillment of the great nationalideals”. illustrating the obsession with Transylvania the Hungarophobia that and became accentuated towards the end of the Ceaugescu era. Iancu of Hunedoara. Bilcescu and Avram Iancu. and Cuza. Glad and Menumorut.Likethem. (In addition. andas in the preceding examples. How many Romanianshaveheard of Roland Borga.59 The pantheon is expressed in a more succinct form by the painter Constantin Piliu$i. Basarab. Horea. Constantin Brincoveanu and Ferenc Rik6czi 11.inacharacteristicmixture of Marxistideology and nationalism: Burebista. Mrcea. Brincoveanu.222 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS In 1975 the program Communist namedfollowing of the Party the personalities. Stephen the Great and Vlad Tepeg. Burebista. Michael. Decebalus and Trajan. only sovereigns are present! For a complete and systematic illustration of the rating of personalities in the last years of the communist dictatorship. Cum andCeaugescu.withscepterin hand. Horea. each bearing the name of the dominant personality.Michael. as Romanian land. and Horea. Mircea the Oldand Alexander the Good.thefounders of cdmmunismwere not forgotten: Marx.Roland becomes-the explanatoryplaqueinforms us-the . appears agatnst a background in which are represented Burebista. Romanian Landof Transylvania). Towards the end of the communist period. Michael. Iancu. and Lenin (the last of these being mentionedon several occasions). the clever balance between the Romanian provinces is worth noting. Decebalus. Stephen. Thanks to the trios of Gelu.thecaptionsemploytheterms:RomanianLand of Muntenia. However. Kogjlniceanu and Cuza. and even see him hurriedly integrated into the pantheon. Someone had to represent and the “Romanian Land of Transylvania” alongside the founding princes Basarab Bogdan. Gelu. Michael Brave. Engels. the Transylvanianheroesareactuallymorenumerous than those of Wallachia or Moldavia.

Cuza. Only culturalfigures a politically seem to be admitted. double-page illustration that is placed before the children’s eyes shows an indefinite figure at the rostrum. shifting the emphasis from “princes” to ccre~~lutionarie~’7. probably.productive of secondary heroes but not of exponents of Romanian destiny or creators of history. This “desert”throughwhichtheRomaniannationhaspassedgives meaning to a messianic expectation. With the modem period a revolutionary transition takes place. The nineteenth-century selection is equally ideologically loaded.inanycase. highlights the urgencyof the saving act. or even symbolized. bringing an exclusive concentration on Horea. by great figures at all. just any and not revolutionaries but the “official” ones: Bacescu. but by heroes of the second or third rank. though these and were unfortunately not yet in existenceat the time). . who does not resemble any of the Transylvanian politicians and churchmen who carried out the union). Avram Imcu and Kogtdniceanu. (This as work is adorned with magnificent color illustrations. which are as useful the text for the purposes of our investigation). and immeasurably amplifies the stature of the dictator. Clogca and Crigan. against a background of the great achievementsof socialism and surrounded by shining-faced workersor by an enthusiastic multitude. an express “recommendation” required that the historical portraits in public institutions shouldstop with Cuza. and he presented in pictures too. Avram Iancu. Somebody seems to be missing. who becomes comparable not with the little people of his ow11 time but with the heroes of old. those who are already the stuff of epic. it is like talking about Vaslui without Stephen or C5lu@reni without Michael! When we come to 1918. alone or with his is wife.. and Captain Valter Miirjcineanu. Also worth noting is the absence of the traditional “couple”Mitei Basarab and Vasile Lupu.. Tudor Vladimirescu. Socialist and communist leadersarecompletelyeliminatedtoo. the event appears even more anonymous: the multitude gathers at Alba Mia. and. the that sequence closes Cuza 1866. for failing to understand the necessity of Romanian solidarity. published in three volumes (1982-1984)by the prolific popularizer Dumitru Almag.figures who are. as in any list of providential figures invoked in the Ceaugescu is fact their era. The ground is thus prepared for an apotheotic finale: the last tales have Ceaugescu as hero. but it is only a multitude with no names (while the large. though the personalities and faces of ancient kings and medieval voivodes. Then history seems no longer to be made. Bacescu. invented ad hoc to make up for the lack of great individuals. The young readers are first presented with themillenniil glory of theDaciansandthen of theRomanians. of course.THE IDEAL PRINCE 223 founder of a Transylvania fighting to win f u l l independence from Hungary (after which it would probably have united with Wallachia Moldavia. or even by ordinary characters “from the people”. their punishment. with in BetweenCuza and Ceaugescuthere is anaridspace.secondaryin oriented pantheon.for good measure. Indeed. The attack on Pleven i n 1877 is illustrated by the sacrifice of Majors $onp and Constantin Ene. A rich illustration of the differentiated treatment applied to the “great men” from one period to the next is provided by the collection Historical Tales. But what is most striking here.

Above all. Nor were critiques of the 1950s slow to appear. everything is relative. and from referring to his “reactionary Prussian spirit’’. Some are looked on even more negatively. this had the effect of propelling Vasile Goldig far above the others (as hadhappened.to whom none of the promised statues were ever erected. but with a sufficiently modest weighting not to challenge the unique position the Leader. like almost everything else. it was not enough to include an abundance of severe judgements(such as Carol’senrichment by “exploitingthemasses of working people”) and to highlight the fervent republicanism of the Romanians: the book could not have on its cover or title page any referenceto kings or to the dynasty. For this reason Maniu’s role in 1918 was first refused and then minimized. from thehypertrophy of Ceaugescu’s stature. his role in 1877 is at least partially acknowledged. samestrategyinvolvingtherelative and discreet insertion of thegreatstatesmen into thenationalhistory. even more than in the time of GheorghiuDei. There was a “Pitrigcanu moment” around 1970. especially if they died in communist prisons. designed to emphasize Ceaugescu’s “communismof humanity” by comparisonwiththeless humane communism of his predecessor. to some extent. of The communist heroes suffered. in with general line the “improvement” of Romanian history. fell rapidly and brutally. when the victim of Gheorghiu-Dej came near to overshadowing. it was thus given the eloquent title Cotztn‘bzdmzsregam‘ingpo&ticalh? in Romatzia: The $ evolution cfthejrm ofgovernment in modern and contemporary bistoy.their“rehabilitation”wasonlyrelative and was limited to passing mentions in textbooks or to specialized texts for a more detailed treatment. was part ofthe. Towards the end of the period the assessment of Maniu was ‘‘softened”.However. as Iuliu Maniu did.60 (As a Catholic from the south of Germany. who served to symbolize the national faceof Romanian communism and to assist Ceaugescuinhis settling of accountswith“Dej’speople” and evenwith the memory of the late leader. not withoutoften vehement notes of criticism. since a symbolic figure had to be invoked. The semi-rehabilitation of Antonescu. Carol’s ‘Trussianism” is debatable!). the first king of Romania enjoyed a truly favorable treatment around 1980 if we compare it with the insults directed at him around 1950. Entry was refused to the dynasty and to the great “bourgeois” politicians. on a differentscale.with Biilcescu for 1848). after the phase of rejection in the 1950s. When a historian wrote a book about the monarchy.224 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS Thus wecanseethesense and limits of thereturn to the figures of the traditional pantheon. In this way we may detect a certain recovery of Carol I. The descent of Gheorghiu-Dejwas accompanied by theascent-prudently stopped before the summit-of LucretiuPstriigcanu. Gheorghiu-Dej himself. Of course.61 The Britianus and other prominent politicians are treated in a similar way.It is true that in the course of Ceaugescu’s rule it is possible to detect a certain softening of judgement on the excludedpersonalities. although this does not prevent the school textbook from accusing him of “betrayal” (regarding the events of 1870). which I have already mentioned. the . His place was hardly above that of an ordinary illegalist. From the uncontested leader of Romanian communism he was drastically limited to the Grivip episode of 1933.

the Titulescu myth. served to eclipse or inculpate the other actors of the period in question. the moment was rapidly left behind. perhapsdue to the fact that he had never been more than a very valuable “fellow traveler”who was not implicated in the scandals of the Party hierarchy. or the not-so-innocent little siren-sounder had actually been a Siguran@ informer Regardless of who Roaitii wasor was not. provoking the amazement and admiration of others..theillegalistheroeswereleftmore and more inthe shadows. But-not enough to make him the equal Burebista. The only difficulty-but mythology does not recognize difficulties-lay in the fact that Gheorghiu-Dej had been an adult in the period of the “great struggles”. putting an end to the relative discontinuity in the recent history of Romania.wastransformedintothegreatestanti-fascist and anti-war demonstration in Europe. in close collaborationwithhisfuturewife. Groza was also the beneficiary of one of the rare statues erected by the communists in memory of their own revolutionariesit was pulled down at the same timeas that of Lenin. while its principal organizer became Ceau$escu.PRINCE THE IDEAL 225 glory of the leader who admitted no rival. The position of Petru Groza was more secure. More and more heroic communist deeds of the1930scametobe attributed to him. more the spirit of a world power than that of a in small or medium-sizedstate(andthustheprecursor of Ceaugescu’splanetary ambitions). reason for his disappearance could not be more obvious: the “boy hero” was now Ceaugescu himself. the only figure whom it was ~~ considered usehl to make a myth of. who were judged a p n s t the truth embodied in the mythologized figure. A photomontagewaseven put togetherin which the head of the future dictator appeared in the midst of the multitude. All the same. rather like the Bilcescu myth of the preceding period but on a smaller scale. and in particular the Soviet Union. Animated by an ideology of absolute values. A few more steps back in time and Ceaugescu could have shaken hands with Cum.or Ceaugescu! of . Among them was the episode of 1 May 1939. which had actually been organized through the trade corporations by the royal dictatorshipregime. at the age of fourteen or even earlier. the . while Ceaugescu was only child or a teenager. its somewhat unnatural position betraying a certain negligence in the faking of the image. but moderate (not to say naive) in respect to communism. the celebration on that occasion. the denouncer of fascist aggression. At a certain point the teenage hero actually disappeared (his photograph was eliminated from the history textbooks). As the yearspassed. and there was no room for two! Indeed. Uninvolved (at least in the mythologicalvariant)ininternalpoliticalconflicts. Ceaugescu installed himself in the leading position the communist movement whichGheorghiu-Dej in had previously occupied. Titulescu offered a seductive array of qualities suitable for recuperation or myth making. around the end of the 1 9 6 0 was Nicolae Titulescu. In an age almost empty of “heroic” substance. a it was possible to learn that he had begun his revolutionary career. Cuza. The picturesque case of Vasile RoaitQ deserves a mention. Rumors were not slow to spread: either there had never been a Roaitii at Grivip in 1933.the promoter ofan active European and world diplomacy..

regardless of name or title.Wehaveseenitwiththe kings of Romania. it may be that the Romanians have been. In the end. monarchists or republicans in reality.Wehaveseenitwith Gheorghiu-Dej. or simplybetweenthevulgarity of thepresidential couple and the mythical figures invoked. Many of them feel the need to put their trust in the Terson atthe Top”. the guarantor of social stability and the interests of the nation. concomitant with an obsessive reference to the great exponents of an immutable Romanian destiny. but no lessfaithful to the immutable rules of operation. maintaining a different sense measure and referring of to other realmodels. Thediscrepancies in his case are impressive-between the idealized past and the real present. in spite of the reputation for wisdom and modesty which some want to weave around him. The princes of olden times support the princes of today (a mythological continuity which becomes all the more necessary as the real of society passes through phases rupture).pastandpresent. and are not. Each timewefindthetwinhypostases. its guide on the difficult road of history. . The massive scale of the propagandathe“brainwashing” by atorrent of pseudo-historywhichfloodedRomanian consciousness-is also impressive.in a different context of course. But themechanismitselfis one that iswell known.226 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS WithCeaugescueverythingseemslackinginproportion-his pretension to found a totally other Romania Ggoingas far as the complete modification of the urban and rural landscape and even of geographical equilibria). Historyis an instrument of power. This may be one key to the contradictory evolutionsof Romanian politics over the past centuly. a confusing dialectic in which he identtj%edwith history at the same time as he tried to cancelit out. of the providential figure. The concomitant personalization of the past and the present finds a favorable not echo in Romanian opinion.

a processof relative rehabilitation in proportion to nationalist the commitment of the communist regime and its separation from Moscow. as well as people who simply want to restore a history which has long been obscured. a quite remarkable degree of mythologizing of his person. and especially of the contemporary section of the national pantheon. both by the scale and fervor of the public manifestations and by the high symbolic and religious charge of the event. He seems to beinvestedwiththesacredmission of thesaviorC‘Monarchysaves Romania!”). to the political pluralism that was so vigorously affirmed after the collapse of communism. Stalin and Mussolini 5 percent. however. Thus the myths-King Michael andMarshalAntonescu-transposes into historical and mythological terms a fundamental fissure which divides the Romanian society of today. who was driven out by the communists on 30 December 1947. he underwent. . has become a symbol for many upholders of anti-communism and democracy. and historical mission. Political conflicts are extended into historical spectacular confrontation between the two contradictory conflicts. of course. The hard core of supporters. aswe have seen. for the %etrayal” of Yalta)? Those (in linewith the who appreciateAntonescucertainlyincludeanti-communists ideology expressedby the marshal).CHAPTER SEVEN After 19 89 The yearsthathavepassedsince1989haveseenaremarkable adaptation of historical and political mythology. some 62 percent of Romanians seem to have had a good opinion of the marshal (placing him above m y other leader in the SecondWorld War: Hitler enjoyed the favorable opinion of 2 percent. the one destined to bring the country back to normal course of its the on the occasion of Easter in history. Churchill 26 percent.1 FSng Uchael. After 1989 opinions could be expressedl l l y and freely. According to an opinion published May poll in 1995. function. The visit to Romania which he undertook April 1992 highlighted. and Roosevelt 31 percent: the last two are paying. Havhg been considered in the early days of communism as a traitor to national interests and a war crininal.2 The case of MarshalAntonescu is muchmorecomplicated.

in as far as myth can be explained. in which an idealized image of Antonescu as a fighter and martyr was contrastedwithIGngMichael. However wide the current range of heroes and symbols. a moment of national solidarity.4 The king/marshal antithesis is exacerbated by the latter’s unconditional supporters. gave rise to bitter polemics around Avram Iancu’s grave. The festivities in Tebea in September 1996. Trans. is made up-and this is the extraordinary paradox!---of the successors of those who sent the marshalbeforethefiringsquad in1946. all sectors of the opposition denounced the official confiscation of. For them. as if by magic. Avram Iancu has seen sipificmt ascent in the a context of theRomanian-Hungarianconfrontationswhichhavebeencarefully reanimated and sustained after 1989. and serves also as a powerful instrument against the king. . sacrificed on the altar of the fatherland”. on 30 December 1993. whose death in 1995 produced. organized a p n s t the background of the signing-at last!-of theRomanian-Hungarian treaty.the hero.. while the diehards of the Party of National Unity accused their former government colleagues (who had decided in themeantimeto play the European card) of betrayingthenational ideals symbolizedby the great fighterof 1848. are now ostentatious admirers of the nationalist and authoritarian virtues of Antonescu. The formernational-communists.) In Cluj there has been an unprecedentedwar of thestatues:AvramIancuvs. and xenophobic tendencies (without anyone having sought his consent).pro-Soviettraitor and murderer! The posthumous role of Antonescu is multiple. for example.288 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS those who manifest their admiration vehemently and even agressively. an exceptional mythical sequence to be explained. (Internal difficulties and debatable government solutions call for an “other” to justify them. * “Greater Romania”. autochthonist. those who launched the rehabilitation process before 1989. King Michael wasa traitor. and sometimes even amplifies. as the principally figure responsible for the who replaces communists the marshal’s execution.5 A high point of this denigration was the “documentary” montage shown on the official television channel. he upholds authoritarian. Among the traditional heroes. associated with a political party of the same name. by the “unreal” disinterestedness of the deceased in a world of petty interests. a weekly newspaper of extreme nationalist orientation. in the name oftbe government. The last of these is joined by Corneliu Coposu. another symbol of Romanian-ness). much wronged in his lifetime. who perished by violent deaths. The great political orientations cultivate own their heroes: kings. it is clear that o$in’ad discozme (especially detectable the in frequent historical evocations on official television as well as in school textbooks) continues. . as demonstrated by the fact that he was decorated by Stalin.MatthiasCorvinus(the latter is threatened by theexcavation of thepresumed Roman forum. the the BrQtianus or Iuliu Maniu. Antonescu and Ceaugescu belong to the same sacred corps of “apostles of dae Romanian people. For Romania Mart?.

which is hard to avoid (and which even the communism of the last decades partially accepted). in 1993Romaniajoinedthecommunity of Francophone states. Panaitescu’s ? textbook The His~oy ofthe Romanians. where the Slav-Byzantine model fades in favorof a particular indigenous synthesis. Although itwas published in a period profoundly . seen as a bridge between East and West. which does not correspond to history real but corresponds very well to certain obsessions prior to 1989. everything looks just as it did before 1989. but they remain in the background compared with the media attention given to the great personality of Romanian foreign policy. Rehabilitation in his case. although in the nineteenth century this radically transformedRomanian culture.AFTER 1989 229 the fundamental elements of pre-revolutionary discourse. Br5tainu and Maniu. which was quitedifferent to that practicedby national-communist mythology. anyway).Otherwisethere is not theslightestmodification to a discourse structured in terms of class struggle (an incredibly long series of peasant uprisings) and of full unity from the earliest times. To give one example.ot to mention King Ferdinand.6 A walk through the rooms of the Museum of National History in Bucharest illustrates the extent of resistance to change. It was withdrawn in the end in response to a wave of protests. and the fact that he symbolizes a monarchy that officialdom has no reason to present in too favorable a light. The “single”schooltextbookspublishedafter1989(justlikethosepublished under communism. The reconstruction of thepastwhichcontinuestobepracticed is one which amplifies autochthonous factors at the expense of European dynamics and influences. Despite the years that have passed. P. but in contrast to those in use before) avoid speaking about French influence. n. but thereal motive was the we of discozme. have come out into the daylight again. his contemporaries. Titulescu has never been invoked so frequently and so admiringly. Modernization is explained exclusively in terms of internal factors. and Cum remains unrivalled as the official emblematic figure of the making of modem Romania.The case of Carol I is likewise significant: he seems to be the victim of an insoluble contradiction between the recognition of his historical dimension. Its incompatibility wid1 recentresearchwasthereasoninvoked. and MarshalAverescu. and a few cases have been added dealing with Kngs Carol I and Ferdinand. resolving any controversy for the time being. of thiscontinuation of thethread of pre-revolutionary It is the in light mythology that we must understand the polemic surrounding I . A carefulanalysis of theofficialdiscourserevealsthepersistence of deeply rooted isolationist attitudes beneath the apparent adherence to European values. A similar approach can be seen in the definition of medieval Romanian culture. which was published before the installation of the communist regime and reintroduced in 1990 to replace the textbooks the of Ceaugescu period. has stopped far short of the old dynastic myth. only the contemporary section (post1918) has been closed. Queen Marie. but no young Romanian could find out from their history textbook about the origins of this Francophony (which is relative. as in that of Ferdinand. and even the Romanian language.

reproduced in 1990. as is the massive rejection of the democratic institution par excellence. and although Panaitescu had let himself be seduced by the Legionary ideology (which could not be accused of a lack of nationalism!). The canonization of Michael Brave the is under discussion too. It is significant that.atl-leistjor skeptics tocriay? Tne Orthodox Church is always involved in the ritual of historical commemorations. the system of paraJtaJe. the textbook is striking for its demythologizing attitude. dates from 1943. Parliament. and cohesion and order on the other. they are urged do to so). by far the most respected institutions of the country are the army and the Church. From VladTepegtoAntonescu.does not acceptthatMichaeltheBravehadanational consciousness. the Romanians seem to be more attracted by symbols specific to national cohesion and authority than to those characteristic of democratic life.thegallery of authoritarianheroes is strongly highlighted. shortcomings. or share of blame of these institutions. but also to insistent propaganda. Between pluralism and democracy on the one hand.230 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS marked by patriotic spirit (the sixth edition. from the time of the war and of Antonescu).The author situatestheformation of theRomanianpeople on both sides of the Danube. indeed there is said to have been a miraculous apparition of his face (the commandant of the National Military Museum himself wasamong those who commented on the incident on television). The only thing that interests us here is the political imaginary. Thus the pantheon and the .r for the dead has become generalized. How many Romanians How manydare to declare dared to declarethemselvesbelieversbefore1989? themselves . the majority seem inclined towards the latter values (or if they do notincline that way of their own accord. with scores of 92 percent and 89 percent respectively in April 1996. at least according to opinion polls (the accuracy of which I shall liot discuss). ALWAYS UNITED? Unip and antbon3 are principles no less in circulation at present than before 1989. drawsattentiontotheSlavinfluence in theMiddleAges. even extending to the commemoration of heroes who lived centuries ago. The return in force of the Church calls for comment. which show an inclination sacrifice to critical with in spirit ease favor of autochthonism and the old mythical clichks. and so on-all the points which we do notfind in the new textbooks introduced in 1992 to 1993. and from this point of view the orientation of the majority towards institutions which are not necessarily specific to democracy (even if they undoubtedly have their place in it) cannot fail to be striking.treats Mad Tepeg as a degenerate. insists on the nineteenth-century French influence. Due to tradition and custom. The c&onization of Stephen the Great and Constantin Brincoveanu in 1992 marked an important date in the process of joining national history with Orthodoxy.’ This is not the place to discuss the merits. compared with Parliament at the other extreme with only 28 percent.

though eachin their own way.whichhas Divergences appear. it can be observed that a far from negligible section of the political and intellectual elite were not in favor of this political orientation. and that again all Romanians. It is often stated that “inthegreatnationalproblemstheRomanianshavealways shown for a truepatriottocontest. was ratified in some countries. which The somewhat summary identification of Romanianism with Orthodoxy (which is liable. a historical-political From theside of thoseinpower. just as there has been talk of “the two Frances” since the revolutionof 1789. by referendum. The world policy of the United States is the variable resultant o f the permanent confrontation of isolationists interventionists.seeminglyhard completely untrue! In the Middle Ages. in the greatproblems.therecanbeheard discourse which insistently sublimates idea the of national unity and even unanimity around certain values. and two completely opposed ideologies. in the end. equally enthusiastically.withpercentagesonlyslightlyaboveandbelow 50 percent). which sets out the hture of the European nations. there is nothing particularly remarkable in all this.Weare duty-bound to recognize that Romania has no vocation to be any more unitary than other countries. and a new elite rose from the lower layers of society. a cleverformula. National unanimity not existed and does not existanywhere. as I have already shown. with a minimal again themselves on this majority (in France the “two Frances” manifested occasion. I limit myself to. the old elite was crushed. A crucialdecision. In the present century Romanian societyhasprovedtobemore often dividedthanunited. was the entry of Romania into the First World War in 1916. Indeed. two recent examples concerning foreign policy and European integration. to offend or marginalize Romanians of other confessions) seems today to be a privileged means of affirming national cohesion. political attitudes. but solidarity”. the Romanian principalities were often in confrontation. and personalities. a p n s t the Central Powers. not in the small ones. while the opposition staked everything . so that we c m talk today (in a political and cultural sense) of “two Romanias”. as it is only natural they should. Contrary to the myth of a Romanian quasi-unanimity in the action aimedat liberating Transylvania.didall Romaniansfight aganst it? In fact. Was itsupported byall Romanians? Or .8 And what about the Second World War? Is it possible to claim that all Romanians were enthusiastically in favor of entering the war alongside Germany in 1941. while some voices were even raised decisively againstit (even if all shared. In 1990. the “national ideal’7. leading to the creation of Greater Romania. are to Religious discourse about history is occupying the ground left free by the dehnct totalitarian ideology. It was a process which divided Romania intwo. during theyears of communismanolderfracturelinewas deepened. were in favor of turning the guns a p n s t Germany in 1944? Then there is theirxtallation of communism. The involvement of Orthodoxy consolidates national historical values whose credibility was at risk of being affected by the depreciation of communist propaganda the and ideological confusion followed. is only a politicalmyth. The Maastricht agreement.AFTER 1989 23 1 Church calendar tendingfuse.

. makes itself manifest in a society which affirms. placed Romania in a singular position even among the former communist countries by hastening to sign a treaty with the Soviet Union. who had participatedingovernmentuntila short timebefore. The systematic evasion of the subject is evident. which provoked dissension right at theirheart. at or least mimics.is the concealmeat ofcomm~nism.werestrongly opposed to it. We are indebted to those outside the nucleus of the profession for the collection and processing of oral information? while for the typical Romanian historian oral the enquiry remains exotic an procedure. the nationalist parties. which they evidently expected to have a long life ahead of it! There followed a gradual Europeanization of the forces in power. Our descendants and our descendants’ descendants will write about it. a space of only two decades.Thismethodologicalbackwardnessintersectswith an ideological reasoning. The ideology of unanimity. some progress has been made in research.likewisenoticeablein the officialzone.is no more than a strategy of government.It is not a good idea to write about communism-according to a widespread opinion-first of all because we lack information. More recently. Thus it is that the most interesting contributions. already rallying behind the slogan ‘We won’t sell our country!”. have come from non-specialists more than from historians in the universities and research institutes. of THE METHODOLOGY FORGETTING OF Another characteristictendency. in this way an authoritarian inclination. The Romanian-HungariantreatyconcludedinSeptember 1996 proved once again that there is no such thing as unanimity.232 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS on relations with the West. an evenmorerestrictedfield but highly valorizedmythologicallyspeaking. those in power. But this is not what happened. the values democracy and pluralism. The majority of specialists in contemporary historywho represented largest the contingent of Romanian historians in 1989preferred to “squeeze themselves” into the interwar period. but it remains and slow insufficient i n relationthe to scale and importance of the problem. particularly concerning communist repression. illustrated with fdse historical examples. and second because we do not have the necessary perspective and risk being subjective. skillfully insinuated by theappealtothepast (a tacticmoreefficientthantheexplicit enunciation of the message). The historical professionals continuegive to higher a level of credibility to written documents than to the living people who have experienced the historyinquestion.throughthecontrastingimages of Marshal Antonescu and King Michael. might have been expected that historians would “dive” It into this completely unexplored territory. which is more essential for the understanding of today’s Romania than anyother period or historical process. (It is interesting that for the same category of historians this timidity in research does not apply where Bessarabia is concerned. or theSecondWorldWar.

It would not have existed without communism.AFTER 1989 233 in this case there is no problem in going right up to 1989. as have always we seen. priests. but it is almost completely ignored in the official discourse and the history proposed to the young generation. resistance fighters in the mountains (still not rehabilitated by post-revolutionary justice). characteristic of any regime. says all there is to say. that is to say. presupposes insertion in history. its institutions and its realities. and indeed goes even further. Peasants killed because they defended their land (certainly more than in 1907. Shakespeare. it generally makes abstraction of communism in the name of the ccautonomyof the aesthetic”.000 victims-at least ten times the true figure). It is thus curious.nte. not a value judgement.) As usual the school textbook. but also understandable (and perhaps even laudable. that the a m y is . especially when it is official and unique.l’ who would dare to interpret Da. above all. It is made to earlier traditions. in about the anticommunist struggle they tell the pupils next to nothing. reference could not bemade to a communism that hasbeen overthrown and discredited. in as much as the procedure illustrates a real will to normalize things). The difference is that there it is a matter of denouncing Soviet communism. of the period through which we have all lived. The authors of the world quite simply evacuate history textbook take an even more radical initiative: they communist Marx and Engels from his tory. We are offered-in 1992-tenpages on the hay century $commz~ism.10 The literature textbook proceeds in the same spirit.l2 at the risk that pupils will understand nothing of the evolution of the last two centuries and. And legttimization. The Romania of today. along with the whole socialist and ideology and movement. and especially to the Greater Romania of the interwar period (with less emphasis on what is not convenient. The present political (and to some extent intellectual) elite was formed in the years of communism. It is a fact which explains the reticence which I have mentioned. inevitably have their origins to a greater extent in those fifty years of communism than in the previous ideologically mythologically and speaking. or Balzac outside their ages? It seems that only Romanian writers transcend their terrestrial condition andrise into the absolute sphere of art. However. intellectuals. That is a fact. If the textbooks say little about communism general. and politicians who died in prison: the material for a new mythology abounds. history of the country. monarchy). while back here it is the Romanian varietythat would have to be denounced. On top of this there is the need for legitimization. Opposition to communism could have found its exemplary deeds and its heroes too. its people. a yearwhich continues to be invoked along with its false death toll of 11. a pallid and ambiguous rksum6. compared with over a hundred pages devoted to the quarter century of interwar RomaniaandtheSecondWorld War. At least here something could have been learnt from the communists themselves: out of much less they managed to put together a whole series of heroic episodes and “illegalist” heroes. but evenmore of a regimeinstalled as a result of an overthrow.

Greece was then at about the same level as Romania. brutally cut in the post-war years. in Romania. and. What more can I say? Romania is the. Romania nowadaysis on the margins of Europe from all points of view. Any measuring of “achievements” ought to be based on an overall and comparative in day. . There is also another strategy. almost seems never to have existed. This is the direction inwhichwe are being urged to go in the end: towards forgettilzg. No field escapedthe ill-boding impactof an oppressive and deforming system. and escape from reality.and mechanisms.intense communist industrialization. Let no one say this is all just the result of a centuries-old delay.” Communism was as it was. which bind it to the old Romanian army. now its performance is several times better. Today. And I have only underlined the strictly material dimension of the problem.It can be summed up in the words: “Still. Trans. However. 2 c J it did not speak to people h about the red preoccupations of thetime.R. We like to make much of the literary effervescence of the period-ald with some justice.. while the S. more or less transfigured) to the communist project. too. According this to sort of judgement should we appreciate the achievements of Hider: the greatest motonvay networkin Europe.whereformer communist activistsremain in power (again a unique case) without having anything to do with a party which no longer exists. While in the West even an isolated house in the mountains will have electricity and running water. The Danaids. which is perhaps less serious than the complete disruption of’socialstructures . if it does not exist. Until a few decades ago there were backward areas-at a similar level to the Romanian villages-in the West too. even if itis no secret that a good part of its staff comenot from the Sipran@but from the Securitate.234 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS retying the threads.* invokes the previously much abused Siguran@. In fact. Communism did not exist! O r at least we have to behave as if it never existed. It is the same with the press-a whole series of publications that have appeared since 1989 have borrowed old titles. On the eve of the Second World War the ratio of the gross national product per head of population of the most developed countries to that of Romania was no more than three to one. With the exception of some subtle games. the eradication of unemployment . worked their Romanians. only ex-communist country where theCommunist Party hasvanished into thinair. today they no longer exist. something was achieved. hundreds of villages remain without electricity and the network of sewage disposal does not even cover the whole of the capital city. even an estimate of ten to one would be too small. but people still worked and created. perhaps even more than the view. literary production swung betweenadherence(more or less nuanced.’complementary to forgetting. The lack of a European audience (which the Romanians felt as an injustice) has its hndamental explanation in this * SemZuiRomcin a In@tMa$ 2 (Romanian Information Service).. at the end of. Such a line of argument-which is indeed truehas the virtue of diverting those who are less skillhl in the tricks of dialectic. letting it be understood that with the title they have also obtained a certificate of experience.I.

while the little historical school of around 1900 was perfectly synchronous with the European of individual the merits. itcanbetrulytonic to note that theRomanians. as much as they could. but they did not change the overall fact that. haunted by Dacim phaltasms and . As for historiography. In the best tradition of Densugimu and the Institute of History of the Party. had to be saved. this Securitate. demonization of the foreigner who is ever plotting against the Romanian nation. then the lossis theirs. Now there is nothing to save. and if the others do not see things that way. manner the manipulation formerly practiced by the Securitate. are at the origins of European civilization.) at People did create sometimes. as if the system were just a simple faqade. whence the need for vigdalce and for a powerfd state-this is the ideologtcal substratum of a literature which prolongs in a new. The forms.13 It was a curious political police. today the prolific author oflittle novels which a large public can neverget enough of. even if Marx had been left far behind. but right at the center of the world. and ultimately more subtle. today. (A factual-descriptive and romantic-nationalist lineof thought is prolonged here. Initiative. and humor were not its characteristics. conceptual and phenomenon. The present discourse continues-in its dominant autochthonist note-to maintain a certain priority for the Dacian factor inrelationwiththeRoman. an innocent unleashingof Romanian folklore. at least.AFTER 1989 235 sort of opting out. in spite of communism. through their ancient ancestors. Moreover. based around an actualized Dacian mythology in which Zalmoxis rubs shoulders with Securitate the agent. Even more remarkable is the literary phenomenon which goes by the name of Pave1 Corut: a high-ranking counter-information officer before 1989. Trans-historical autochthonism. But let us not im2gine that they could create outside communism. his judgements could not be explicitly contradicted. regardless methodological discrepancies could not be more evident. The explanation is simple: Liberty. Sobriety and boredom seemed indispensable. At a time when Europe looks at us with suspicion and keepsus outside the door. the Dacians had come right into the heart of the nationalcommunist system. Communism did not allow complete freedom even to its own inventions. ’ THE FREEDOM SAY ANYTHING TO In some respects we can observe today the exacerbation of certain themes dear to the national-communistideology. all of which promote the idea of Romanian anteriority and excellence. not ours. the Dacians are now invading the market with the most varied and ingenioussolutions. We are not at the margin. whichno longer carries weight in the West. political-religious fundamentalism. But such a n interpretation seems almost balanced in comparison with what is going on in the area of extremist Dacianism. originality. As we have seen. Burebista’s Dacia was essentially Ceau~escu’sRomania. the contributions were numerous and sometimes interesting. least in the university environment.

which was fully crystallized before 1989. In pure MarxistCtalinist orthodoxy. which the Romanians have not completely cast 0ff.236 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS consequently capable of judging as suspect any less orthodox opinion about the ancestors. And the substance of the ethnically homogeneous. as a result of his defense of such a point of view. It is not the terms that interest us here. “unitary” and “centralized” state of the Dacim king is the same as that of today’s national state. Otherwise there is nothing to prevent historians from applying the term to whatever context they like. What has intervened in interpretations of this sort since 1989 is the evacuation of the previous Marxist or Stdinist jargon. Out mythological constellation Girardet isolated Raoul has four of a complex fundamental political myths characteristicof the contemporary world: Conspiracy. this changes nothing essential in the configuration of the myth of unity. The “nation” is one of those elastic historicalconcepts(whichultimatelymakearigorous and universalhistorical terminology impossible). But it would have been an even more serious political heresy to present Burebista as a conqueror who brought together territories lackingcohesion in and populations little animated by the awareness of a common destiny. the freedom of historians(nottomentiontheeverlargercategory of amateurs)toarguein whatever terms suit them. but the substance. essential in the communist ideological game. indeed the paradox can be explained the historical-political amalgam by specific to the CeauSescu period. . A historian much involved in this sort of trans-historical meditation maintains that. applicable to a number of very different realities.And what is sought is evidently the highlighting of a national we of unip. even ifthe use of the term was avoided.14 Here it is necessary to make the distinction. he had to face all sorts of unpleasantness in his professional life before 1989.theonlyclearconceptwithwhichit is possibleto operate remains that of the “nation-state”. The problem is not the wordinitself. between substance and form. It would have been an ideological heresy to say that Burebista had headed a national state. once a w n . aid. in Ceaugescu’s time ‘hational unity” extended over the whole of Romanian space and historical time. characteristic of Romanian history from the remotest beginnings. but. as I havealreadysaid. the nation had to be defined as a historical phenomenon of relatively recent date. A MOMENTW H I C H WE MUSTGETBEHIND US: MYTHOLOGICAL BLOCKAGE The Romanian society of today is animated by powerful mythical pulsations. But if we consider the substance of the issue. but what is sought by usingit. of course. The same bursting of the floodgates can be observed in the obsessive-for too the RommiansAefinition ofthe nationalfact. Thus we have a “Dacian nation”.

The sameRomaniaunderstandably offers a powerful argument for the partisans of theidea of monarchy.are content in their hearts with the Golden Age of communism.weseetheoutline of an attempt to remake the myth of Gheorghiu-Dej. It is interesting to observe how the presidential function. is reserved in the public imaginary for a Savior capable of resolving by hisown will andpowertheseriousproblemsfacing today’s Romania. so often invoked. and Unity. the Golden Age. and their own meaning for unity. and split into countless variants.. who freed the country of Soviet troops and whom only death prevented from setting Romania on theroadtodemocracyandprosperity. a method which is al the more clever as most people do not l even notice it. and vice versa. In fact the Romanian societyof today is divided into those who profitedfromcommunism. Others prefer to go back further into the past. and those who lost or consider that their lives would have been betterwithout communism. In such a confused context the Savior becomes a necessity. or who imagine that they profited (which is the same thin@. Examplesarereadily at hand. of course. the attributes of which are relatively wide ranging but limited by the constitution. the CIA and the KGB. Civil society has to learn to defend itself from “intoxication” by . Through the game of alternating these two leaders they hope to save at least part of the communist memory.15 Romania appears at present to be a n ideal laboratory where these meet.. the time when the center of the world was hen. the great powers. I shallsay no more. and their own conspirators.16 Of course good things can be heardabout Ceaqescu too.AFTER 1989 237 the Savior. Since 1989 the conditioning of public opinion through history has proved to be aconstant part of the strategy of those in power.. when the cost of living was low and life was without surprises (except for the surprises reserved by theapparatus of repression). King Michael . interweave. who can be used by all political orientations: invisible surely the (and notl-existent) terrorists of December 1989. those who did not like Ceaugescu can invoke Gheorghiu-Dej. prosperous and democratic. so everyonestubbornlydirectstheirgazetowards the Gddm Age which suits. seen as a great politician and a great patriot. althoughit only lasted two decades it seems to be the model in relation to which previous and subsequent history is judgedincludingtheissue of territorialextension. For many this is interwar Romania. Ultimately each Romanian has his or her own Savior: President Iliescu. certainlymorenumerous than those who dare to admit. the kingand the landlords.. Greater Romania. potential presidents Emil Constantinescu or Petre Roman. but its faces are very diverse. them. the “hooligans” of the demonstrations in University Square a d those manipulating them from the shadows. in which case the Golden Age merges with the primordial time of the Geto-Dacians. Yalta and Malta. the ever-present former Securitate. Whoever controls the past has good chance of also controlling the present. Just as everyone has their own Savior. Conqirag brings onto the stage a multitude of actors. the Hungarians. The archetype is a single one. History has always been an instrument of power too. Others. About atzip. Thus agamst the background of an imaginary age without cares.

while the world towards which we are heading is structured around democratic and European values. but to attenuate it and modify the criteria of selection. presupposes it also the critical and responsible acceptance of the past. which. or rather by the mythologies constructed upon history. Civic education presupposes not only traditional the ‘heroic type of valorization of the events ofnational history. like any message.238 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS history. which wouldnot be possible. It isclear that theRomanianseasilyallowthemselvestobesubjugatedby history. the characteristic power of the by imaginary. A divided society is reflected in divergent reference points. and. . the virtues of which for a sense of identity I do not contest. The challenge of modernity and European integration cannot bereferredto a mythologywith traditionalist emphases. as well as skill in “decoding” the historical message. conversely. It remains to be seen how far the mythological blockage will continue to affect the process of integration and modernization (which it has already delayed).is aimed at “something”. with any past.B. The dominant note of the Romanian historical imagnary still remains autochthonist and authoritarian. let alone desirable. The solution is not to forget history. how this process willultimatelylead to a more or less radical re-elaboration of the national mythology. The great decisions which Romaian society has to take today represent a break with the past. which. only serve in their turn to deepen the divisions. Note: It should be clear that the political references in this chapter relate to the situation prior to the elections of November 1996. L.

Even acompletely different type of discourse would have invited a similar approach. The hostile reception of the volume Romanian Hist0ricalMyth. are far from being unique. us Public opinion only knows the accepted “Vulgate” of history (if it knows even that). The figures of this historical imaginary. it was attacked virulently for the simple reason that it proposed a critical interpretation of thehistoricaldiscourseinplace of theendless and alwaysself-equivalent “patriotic” litany. which it then left to as an inheritance.There is no society without foundation myths. On the national television channelone vigdant historian did not miss occasion the to denounce a “Masonic while plot”. though adapted to the local climate. Various critics even asked the question (habitual in the years of communism). anda military man did not hesitate to enrich the already broad palette of our original democracy with the supposed mission of the army to defend. and authoritarian interpretation of the events of the past. but no less eloquent for all that. I do not propose to identify alternative solutions which mightbe more “true” than those I have discussed. or symbols of unity. From the perspectiveof my project it has been used as a source for the present. the values of national history. I have on occasion felt the need to make my own point of view clear.Conclusion We havenow reached the endof this attempteddecoding of a number ofmythical structures which are powerfully imprinted in modem Romanian culture. The problem is that the way in which the structures of the historical imagination take shape among ustoday ishighly “out of step”withWestern European culture and mentality. in as much it can be felt as to be served by a nationalist. in peacetime. But even in professional circles it is proving hard to break with old clichks. Communism took over and exacerbated nineteenth-century a mythology.l heroes. “Whom does such an approach serve?”-in the understanding that it served the “others’’ . finding myself faced fabrications with or extreme distortions. Even if. The present problem of Romanian society does not lieinthemerefact of implication in the game of the historical imaginary. The official discourse only serves to complicate things. an autochthonist sociologist launched an unusual summons to scholars to align themselves with an apparently infallible popular intuition. the essence of my argument concerns not History but the historical discourse and itsinevitableideologicalandmythologicalcharge. a disguised source (dressed up as objective truths).r (which appeared under my direction in 1995) seems to me to be eloquent. unanimist. History can break loose neither from the constraining structures of theimaginary nor from the equally constraining imperatives of the present.

in which the Romanians are different from the others and subjecttopersecution by theothers. its privileged variant in the Romanian environment. at the most.). Neither confrontation nor isolationism are acceptable solutions.c’est la perre”-FranqoisMitterand’swords on hisdeparture from thepoliticalstage perfectlydefinethehistoricalmoment at whichwefindourselves. It is clear that the Europe in which we want to be integrated is not being constructed on the basis of nationalism and autochthonism. you must have something to offer your own time and you must speak the same language your interlocutors.but by leaving behind these states of mind. direction. but the history we imagine. We do not need to wipe the battlefields from our memory. however patriotic your intentions. it is precisely this sort of discourse which discredits one nowadays.“Lenationalisme. a “place of memory” invested with a strong conflictual significance becomes a symbol of rediscovery within the same space of civilization. CIA. Insistent actualization of a glorified past and abandonment initstrapperpetuateconfrontationinrelationto others and immobility ita relation to ourselves.aspeoplecapable of intelligentlydiscussingtheproblems that are discussed today. Not real history.240 HISTORY AND MYTH IN ROMANIAN CONSCIOUSNESS (Hungarians. There is not a good nationalism and a bad nationalism. but it seems that history drags us back. in any case an overturning of the old one. It is not an improved and amplified version of the events of the past that will promote us in the world. In history. the national states.Jingoisticspeechesare. We know that only too well. Nationalism implies affirmation the Autochthonism almost ends up ignoring them. illustrates a state of mind which is inappropriate to our time. patriotism in history means rebuilding a historical school of European standard. hand in hand on the battlefield of Verdun. for “internal use o ~ I Y ” . But the same nationalism-and no otherhas stained Europe with blood for two centuries. sinking into a world of its own. This history. If not. such as we had in the first part of the century. Whom it serves-apart from the far from unimportant fact that it serves the truth and the standards of a professionI cansay without hesitation:itservesRomania. as in any other field.Andthe symbolic illustrationthat a history of confrontation has been left behind is offered by the image of President Mitterand and Chancellor Kohl. On the contrary.astheFrenchand Germans have a succeeded.Today we havetochoose. If nationalism means the acceptance of inextricable conflicts. Freemasons.Butperhapswecansucceed. which called for was in a certain phase of historical evolution. etc. you as are out of the discussion. coalesced. Nowadays. practically out ofhistory. It isby virtue of it that the modern nations. in giving them new significance. Nationalism had its consttuctive aspect. with all the manifestations that follow from itspremises. but our own quality as historians. It is the starting point of a new mythology.aparadoxical combination of illusory superiority with an obsessive complex of inferiority. KGB. But they are no use of outside. if anyone still hopes that in this way they can cover the lamentable state in which Romanian society finds itself. March-October 1996 . there is simply nationalism. leads in a no less worrying of primacy over the others. autochthonism.

Ioan-Aurel. Bucharest.. Lucian. 2.134-160. Bucharest: EdituraEnciclopedicZ. These stronglytraditional features ofa society still insufficiently in gear with modernity are illustrated by the numerous statistics assembled in the chapter on the Romanian population in Enkchpedia Romhki (TheEncyclopedia of Romania). 15. Pop. $te&escu. -1 11. Ihd. ‘ S i t e m o nafiune. Pmbhma transifvana‘ (The Transylvanian problem). see the investigation in Caiete m2h-e 5-8 (1998). Jocuf cu tncutd Istoria intn adv&. and as such is clearlydistinguished from the “Old Kingdom” of Romania. nefericirea totalitar2 trei mituri ale comunismului rominesc” (Collective destiny. Vulpe.rti tn semhh X I I I . 5. Vol. the highly controversialissue of the weekly paper Dihma (27 February-5 March 1998). Alexandru. “Geto-Dacii?”. Published inthe magazine Oameni tn Tp 1 (June 1999): 13. Iqi: Polirom. 1938.” are (We anation. 1998. 13.1999. totalitanin unhappiness: Threemyths of Romanian communism). Boia. Cmnttrl(24 February 1999). servitutea involuntarii. involuntary servitude. in his article ‘Transylvanian Illusions and Realities”. 10. 12. Doua‘ semli de mitohgie nalionah..Notes Three Years on: an Introduction to the Second Romanian Edition 1. “‘Amenin$area’ federalist? (The federalist “threat’?.Mitwik mmunismului mmhesc. Cmniul(22 July 1999). Eugen. and demythologizing).1998.175-197. Boia. Boia.m . Naiimea mmina‘ medievah. Alex. 1999. mitizare si demitizare” (Myth. Cmntul(21 December 9. Boia. Bucharest Humanitas. 1998. o 16. underlines the m y h c charge of such a . Ihd. Bucharest: Nemira. Bucharest Humanitas. nu o nafiune ortodoxi?. 1998). 72-73(my emphases). Regarding the present-day individuality and possible future autonomy of Transylvania see Gabriel Andreescu andGusztiv MolnSr. Catholic and Protestant). Sobdunk+’ etnice mmine. o 17. Rominia Literara‘ (21-27 October 1998). 6. 141-142. Daniel. Oameni tn Tp 4 (October 1999): 93-97. “Destinul colectiv. 8. 1. CICSA 1-2 (1998): 21 . “Mit. For the demythologizing of the poet. Under the direction of Lucian Boia. ed. “0 jucHrie la modk demitizarea”. under the title “Eninescu-un model dep+it?’’ (Eminescuan outdated model?).Lucian. Simion. 7.rijc$me. A n interesting collection of articles on this theme can be found i Dilima (27 November-3 n December 1998): ‘Vrsta de aur dintre cele doug rgzboaie” (”he golden age between the two wars). 3. GusztSv Molndr maintains that Transylvania belongs to the “other Europe” (that of “Western Christianity”. not an Orthodox nation). Barbu. 14. mythologizing. see 4.145. Lucian. Sorin Mitu. and the for upholding the of myth. Lucian.

1942. 1. 7. Figura lui Mihai Viteazul in manualele gcolare de istorie (1831-1994)” (The past between knowledge and the cult of the heroes of country:The figure of Michael the Bravein school history the textbooks. “Mythistory in Elementary School: MichaeltheBrave i Romanian Textbooks (1830-1918). 1831-1994).1900.Vol.4xaiiei romhe moderne (The history of modern Romanian civilization).762 (“Iqi”). n 1830-1860). at the beginning of the twentieth century. Georgescu. 1965. Stefan. cit. Bucharest: Nemira. Zeletin. Panaitescu.185. 10. 4.” 6. For more on the myth of Michael the Brave. For the somewhat less than bourgeois ideology of the nascent Romanian middle class. Bucharest: Ancora. Revista htorica‘ 5-6 (1993): 539-550. 1972. see the following articles by Mirela Luminip Murgescu: “Figura h i Mihai Viteazul in viziunea elitelor gi in literatura didactic. E. 1961. there were no friends ofcapitalism. Zub. Ideology. 5 .329.” Analeh Universit2@ Bumnyti. Panu.242 NOTES “Transylvanianentity”:Romanians and HungariansinTransylvaniahave neverhad a common project of autonomy. See his essay “Mircea Eliadenecunoscutul” (Mircea Eliade the unknown).32-71. I.me dans les prinn)az{ti. 9. see Boia. Bucharest:Editura Universitifii Bucuregti.99-100. I would like to add the following observation concerning the religious aspectof the problem:from 1700 to 1948. nowadays three-quarters of the popuJation ofTransylvania is not only Romanianbut also Orthodox! Chapter One:History. Mitun’ istorice mmrjnejti (Romanianhistoricalmyths). theOrthodox were in the minority in Transylvania (as many of the Romanians were Uniate). 1898. $10 (‘CRominia”).606 (‘Bucuregti’’). 1989. Bucharest: Editurapentru Literaturz. other thanthe capitalists themselves.. C. 2. Diaconovici. Lovinescu. ’ 1 . 1995. who discusses the anti-capitalist mentality of Orthodoxy in contrast to the capitalist spirit of the Protestant ethic (according to Max Weber’s thesis). n Istoorie (1993-1994): 53-66.1986.In Mirrea Ebade. Miron. 170. 1. “Riception et diformation: La Rivolution fransaise dam la chronique de Dionisie 1’EcclCsiarque” (Reception anddeformation:TheFrench Revolution in the chronicle of Dionisie the Ecclesiarch).. 3 vols.15-21. 1995. Sibiu. 1970. Mimoins e#projetsde r$6nne dans hs. Ed. (18301860)” m1e figure of Michael the Bravein the vision of the elites andi didactic literature. Bucharest: Editurapentru Literatur. Mimoirvs et projets de n. 169-174) he concludes t h a t “In Romania. A. Enciclopedia mmha‘(The Romanian encyclopedia). Bucharest. Iagi. 1769-1830). Bucharest. 1904. 2. ‘Trecutul intre cunoagtere gi cultul eroilor patriei. Istoria civi. Lucian. 3. ed. The phenomenon of the “refusal of capitalism” in Romanian culture is analysed by Stefan Zeletin in thechapter “Valoarea gi sensu1culturii romine reacfionare” v h e value and sense of reactionary Romanian culture) in op. G. Costin. Ed. 3. Vol. Bucharest: Elitura Remus Cioflec. Bicentenary studies. Vol.Bucharest: Cultura Na$on&. P. Stefan. Bucharest: Cartea Romiineasc.Vol. 1924-25. Mythology Cazimir. Afabetzd u2 #raq$ie (The alphabet of transition). Amintiori de la “Jmimea”din Iaji (Recollections of the ‘CJunimea” of Iagi). In the chapter “Enemies of capitalism” (pp.sprinc)atltis romaines (1831-1848). 1925. 1. Viad.279-284. Qpen (Works).s mtmzaines (1769-1830) (Memoranda and projectsreform of in the Romanian principalities. Croniccm‘ mmteni (Muntenianchroniclers). Btrrghe@am m h d Onginea .ri m i d ei istor. Underthe direction ofLucian Boia. Vol. P. In La Ridutionj-atyaise et les Roumains (The French Revolution andthe Romanians).C (”he Romanianbourgeoisie: Its origin and historical role). Sitllilar considerations can be found in Ioan Petru Culianu. Vol. and indeed Transylvania has ended up very similar to the rest of Romania. 8. 244-255.

seeAsachi. 2. 1937. 751-752. 1976.177. 22. 24. $t Mibai Voevod Viteaz2/I. Ed 184. 8. Bucharest: Editura Minerva.ri lumn% . Bzlcescu. Vol. Ehmenk de doria mminihr (Elements of the history of the Romanians).128-129. Zub. Mircea Eliade. n ‘1 On Russo’s “Cmtarea Rominiei”. 1859-1862). Micu. 1. Ed. iG moMaves vahques et (Fragments drawn 26. 16. Catargiu. Discunuijarhmentan (1859-1862) (Parliamentary speeches. 1973. Nicolae. 2. 231-237.309-319. part 1. Bucharest Editura Academiei.265.Vol.kt. Ibid. Reprinted in Open. Reprinted in Open. “Studii asupra atimirii sau neatimirii politice a rominilor in deosebite secole”.61. 7. Samuil. Al. Bdcescu.342. P. moral and political writings). Bucharest: Editura Cartea Romheasci. 2.52. Kogzlniceanu. Convot“ .236.rtin&i a istoriei mmriniht: Bucharest: Editura Stiin$ficli.233-248.21-22. 2. Open. de h MoMavie et des Valaques transdanubiens (History ofWallachia.178. Reprinted in Open.193-203.NOTES 243 11. Iqi. Moldavia. Mihail.150-151. and the Transdanubian Vlachs). Mihail.262-272. EcbiLihl intn antitep (Equilibrium between antitheses). 1995. 18.ri mta yihar2 de h intemeienapritlcipafu~ui Opere. I&d. 1914. Bucharest: Editura Viitorul Romhesc. and Heliade Ridulescu. G. 749-752.. 28. Vol. Panu. B. Heliade Ridulescu. Bucharest Minerva. Vol. Titu. 33.165. see G. Al. For the content and historicalexploitation of the Chronicle of Hum. Vol. Ion C.nxently published Istoria mmrinihr (History of the the as Romanians). 8. Maiorescu. Snieri Liferan. Nicolae. Supplementary information on the controversy can be found in Zub. 1. 1.George. Vol.133.31. 112. 161-162. 19. 2. 1963. 27. Ed. Vol. Vol.415-416. m0ra.1941. 2. Scurta cuno. Fragments tn des chmniq14es from the Moldavian and Wallachian chronicles). G.&term (1872): 151-157. Vol2. 1. Hasdeu. 1986. Deqn stma soda& a muncitorihrplugan’ in principatele mmrine in dosebite timpuri (On the social status of the workers of the land in the Romanian principalities in various periods). Ion. Ibid. 25. Zane. Ibid. Bucharest: Editura Minerva. Zub. Bucharest: Editura Academiei. EchiLihlintn anfitep.ri intimp&n% mmrinilor (History and matters and events of Romanians). Kogdniceanu.. Brgtianu. and Stefan in Gorovei’s afterword notes and to Constmdin Sion’s Arbondohgia Molaovei.152-153. Ibid.151-162. Critice (Critical writings). Heliade Rzdulescu. Ibid. Vol. 1859. Ibia! Vol. A . 15. 1916. 4. Zane’s comments i N. 1. Bucharest. . Ioan Chrindrig. Ibid Vol. q. 1986.85.197. Barbu. 1908. Bucharest: Editura Academiei. 12. de 30.Vol. the same idea is developed by Micu in Istoria . Vol. 14. Nouvelles hirtoriques de h MoMo-Roumanie (Historical tales from Moldo-Romania). 8. r 13. Acte .163-164. Scrieri istorice (Historical writings). 3. Ed 29. contra direc~ei astizi in cultura rorn&G”. 1860 and 1869. Vol. Vaiabieipina‘acum. Iagi: I Editura Junimea.50.h jipoLfin (Literary. Vol. 31. Vol. Mibail Kog2lninanu istoric (Mihail Kogilniceanu historian).1932.Open. Bucharest. 23. Ion. 34. Ed. 2. Historie de Vaiacbie. 20. Bdcescu. Romrinii . Pzthna amata’. Daniela Poenaru. 1974.220. Vol. Bucharest: Ekiitura Minerva. 32. 1. Vol.ri muinfrin‘ (Documents andspeeches). Nicolae. 21. 1938.213. Ion.97. Bdcescu. 125. 164 (an article originally published i Romcjnuh 11 n January 1868).

Vasile. 57. 1994.173. Romhia d@2 Mana Unin (Romania . 1989 edition. 2. Mircea S i daco-mmmi . 10th grade textbook. Vol. Istoriapopomlui mmhesc @’he history of the Romanian people).224. N. Mihail. 1943. C a v l mmunl.Ftilormmbni. Edition prepared by Radu Popa. see PIcurariu.tionabsmul hi Eminesm (Eminescu’s nationalism). Bucharest: Editura “Casei $coalelor”. C. 45. Gotha. p 37. Bucharest: Fundafia Regal.85-87. 68. dt.7. 51. Istoria &ikxa$ei mmhe modeme. 1944-1977 (Politics and history: The case of the r Romanian communists.37. 36. Istoria contemporun2 a Romdnki @e contemporary history of Romania). Revhta isforica’mmdn21 (1931): 4.rti. 525-529. P. 48. 1952 edition. Petric. Ihd. 2. Mihai ViteaTd Bucharest: FundaGa “Regele Carol I”.98. 02.52.Rdirpz/ns dlliN. See also Ciaugu. Giurescu. P. Omea. 199-219. C. Na. 47-61. 1.the standard work is that of the official historians Mircea Mugat and Ion Ardeleanu. Iorga. Milviufa.see Georgescu. “Doui c o n c e p ~ istorice” (I‘wo historical conceptions). 50. Ihd. 2. 4th edition. Bucharest: Editura $tiin$fici. Pentw ‘becheapah”de hfoni. Bucharest Humanitas. Dumitru. Boia. @. 1991. “Cuvint ll~ainte’~ 4. Istoriu mmbnih. n 52. Giurescu. e d Iston2 RER Bucharest. Caen: Paradigme.79. 46. pentru Literaturi gi Art. and “fnchinare” (Worship).6. Pobtica‘ . C. o . Lqbta Bucharest. 55. N. 1990). 54. 42. P. 1922. gi Pedagogic. 1993. In Generabtrifi cclprizin la studiih htori~ (Generalities concerning historical studies). Titu. Maiorescu. gi Pedagogici.C.4142. Aron and Gh. 1’12. Vol. 1994. Bucharest:Imprimeria Nafional. Giurescu. 1906. 53. 1937. Pirvan. 41. For Eminescu’s nationalist doctrine. Panaitescu. 58. Iorga. Ed. P. 1936. part 1. 2. 56. Lucian. Cz1vht14l(20 and 30 November 1940). Ioqa Bucharest. 1994.. Dumitru. C.258. N. 1944. (Foreword). Istoria mmdnih Din ce& mai vechi timplm’pina‘b moarteu regehi Ferdinand I (The history of theRomanians from theearliesttimestothe death of King Ferdinand I. Giurescu... Bucharest Editura Cartea Romheascl. Vol. Maiorescu. and i his school textbook Istoria mminihr. Constantin C. Panaitescu. 39. Bucharest: Editura Pacifica. recently Bucharest: Editura Didactic. Iorga. Getica 0 prvtoislorie u Daciei (Geticx A protohistory of Dacia). 1 9 6 1 9 7 7 ) . P. pentm Lmbu mmhtem-2 (The struggle for the Romanian language). kt. Panaitescu’s historical conception is concentrated i his collection Integref2i mmhe.Bucharest: Editura Enciclopedicii. Ionili. 1905). 1926. 38. P. extract from Revhta istoti-Zmmdn2 (1931-32): 23. E. I. Titu. op. Roller. 49.ri mmhi (Daco& Roman and Romanian saints). “Noi suntem deaici”(Weare from here). Bucharest Cultura NaGonali. see Muriragu. Mad.85-86. which has gone through many editions (most n .e.152-153. Iagi: Editura Mitropoliei Moldoveigi Bucovinei. ) Bucharest: Editura Cugetarea-Georgescu Delafras. Lovinescu. Murkagu. For the interwar period (treated favorably in generaI). ‘Tanteonul mi@ii legionare” (The pantheon of the Legionary movement) i Mitun’ htoniv mmcj. Bucharest: Editura Didactic. Vol.rti n (Romanian interpretations). 1947 Newedition. 9 (originally published as Geschichte des Rumunischen Volkes. For the historical discourse of the communist period ingeneral. La mythohgk sn’ent$que du mmmrmke m e scientific mythology of comtnunism). 1943. 0 notla‘ sinfeqi a tremtzhi nostm. 1972.244 NOTES 35. 44.. 43.i d o i e . For details on the canonizations. 373. 1934. C. 40. 59. 1. Vol.

and Mihail Ionescu received intense media coverage: 200 de @h mai demme: mlul Romhiei in smdana @ h i de-al doiha rzxboi mondial(200 days earlier: The role of Romania in shortening the Second World War). Vol. after the Great Union). Bucharest Edituri Stiinf. Vol. 1972. Anahh Univenitu‘@ B14mn. the plea of Ilie Ceaugescu.fici si Enciclopedici. 1993). . The problem of the capitulations is given an extensivetreatment by Mihai Maxim in T2ri. Bucharest: Editura Minerva. Scriei. see Sdnteia (6July 1980). (1918-1933 and 1933-1940). Russo. 1991.390. Vol.rt.98-109. Istorie (1993-1994):37-51. The thesis is developed by Adolf Armbruster in Romanitatea RomBnilo?: Istoria unei idei m e Romanity of the Romanians: The history of an idea). Open. Pnkminarii poktim-d$hmatice a& insum@i mmhe din august 1944 (Political-diplomatic preliminaries of the Romanian insurrection of August 1944). Zamfirescu. 1993 (text dated 1987). Opere. 5. Hmnica mmdnihrp’ a mai multor neamw. 1972 (new edition.(Seealso the edition edited by Florea Fugariu. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2.rti (Neagoe Basarab: 1512-1521: On the 460th anniversary of his accession to the throne of Wdachia).6.) The Burebista episode is discussed by Florentin DragogNecula. he omits the relationship between the Ceaugescu regime and the capitulations. Vol.NOTES 245 60.79. Cadmljurinic al nk$iihr mmhto-otomane in E v d Mediu Q‘he Romanian lands and the Sublime Porte: The legal framework of Romanian-Ottoman relations in the Middle Ages). 1979. For the ritual commemoration of 2050 years. 62. (For the assessment to have been an honest and complete one. 1512-1521. Sincai. . 1993. Katherine. 2. 1984 and 1985. Editura Enciclopedici. 4 Bilcescu.SS. Anghel. The relative rehabilitation of Antonescu begins with Marin Preda’s novel Debrrr! (The delirium. Koghiceanu. 63. 1967. Katherine Verdery has discussed the motivation and avatars of protochronism in detail in National Ideology under So‘iahm: Idntity and Cultural Pohtics in Ceazgesnr’s Romania. becoming fully “officialized” i Iston’a mibtaru‘ a popomhi mmdn n (Military history of the Romanian people). cit. “Comunism i Dacia. on the historiographical level. 2. 61. Gheorghe. 19OS. Bucharest: Editura pentru Literaturi. the equation should also have taken account of the greater number of days of fighting which resulted from the war waged by Romania alongside Germany. 6. Maior.1812.ri halta Poad2. 3.) 3. Nicolae. 7. Buda. 1983-1988.1989. Open. Alecu. Bucharest Editura Enciclopedici. 65. 282.67. n Burebista-contemporanul nostru” (Communism in Dacia: Burebista our contemporary). Petru. q.57. He opts for a compromise solution. Mihail. Vol. Petre V. Florin Constantiniu. ~~~oiulimpotriz~apoporrlltti (The war against the Romanian people).h mmhe . Bucharest: Editura Academiei. a period four times longx than that which the authors took into consideration. Bucharest: Edituri $tiin$fici gi Enciclopedici. Mihail. 2 vols. As for the contribution of Romania to the defeat of Nazism. 1975). Neagoe Basarab.13-14. Istoria pentm inceputurih mmdnihr in Da&a.13. Verdery. 1. according to which the capitulations wereunilateralacts from the perspective of the Porte. Bucharest Editura Albatros. Ed. Kogdniceanu. 64. PauL “Colaj gi elaborare originali la Neagoe Basarab” (Collage and original elaboration in Neagoe Basarab). Although the author presents the main lines of the history of the issue. and continues. 1970.8-22. mmh Bucharest: Editura ‘Xoza Vmturiloryy. Chapter Two: Origins 1. Dan. Cluj: Editura Dacia.but fully fledged treaties from the Romanian point of view. with Auric5 Simion. Bucharest: Editura Minerva. La 460 de ani de h urcana Jape tmnul Romdne. Haneg.

151-152. Viafagi opera sa” Densugianu: His life and work).307. Foreword by Dan. 22. 1928.) 26. 12. Bucharest. p. Alecu. Earliereditions had appeared in1908-1931. 5th edition. VoL 2. and Sorin Antohi’s considerations i Civitas imaginah. ( l h s passage was crossed out in Pirvan’s manuscript and does not appear in the English version of 1928. 229. see Tklsoiu. 1973. Tocilescu. 1994.Mircea. Ptrvan. ih VoL3. see the text and illustrations of Ateneul Roman din Btimn. n Bucharest: EdituraLitera. Bucharest. G. Giurescu. Aurelian ed. 1990. 22. Dimitrie. n of the edition cited) 23.246 8. 1993. Bucharest: Editura Minerva.ri &din% Athenaeum and ancient buildings w t a circular dome). Vol. Dada. For a survey of the images in which Trajan is placed alongside Carol Carmen. Dacia.Soim’ (Writitlgs). Odobescu. Densugianu. Bucharest Editura Minerva. 19. Dumitru. unnou diletantism” (I’owards a newdilettantism). English translation. 9. Istrati. Alexandru. Vasile. 24. 10. 163. op. 17. Ovidia.rti (Romanian historical myths).rz’ a vechilor ritiLq$zmi. 2. Xenopol. Ateneul Romrin . “Nic. Istoria mmrinibr din Dada Traianci.. Scbiici lb o istorie a da&mului (”he Dacians in the consciousness of ourromantics: Sketch for ahistory of Dacianism). 1. Goldner. Din p i s t o r i a Dariei . see Cilinescu.7&106. lY46.I. i Bucharest: Editura Pacifica. cxiii. 20. ed. Bucharest:Editura Minerva. cCDacia’y. in Dahi tn coytiinia mmanticilor no. O n the reception of the Dacians Romanian culture. Bucharest:Editura “Roza Vmturilor”.123. A c t e si wtntciri (Documents and speeches). 155. Bucharest. 15. part 1. Bucharest: Editura Cartea Rombeascl. Bucharest: Editura Minerva. Bolliac. Dill. Onciul.111-115. 189. ‘Tierit-au dacii?”. For details on the conception of these paintings. C. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.) antice cc/ dom a’rcvhr (”he Romanian 18.330. Sibiu. Iagi: H. Bucharest: Editura $tiin$ficl. C. Alexandru D. “Carol I gi iconografia sa oficial2i” (Carol I and his official iconography).34. N.22. Zamfirsescu. In Scrieri irtoriR @storical writings). however itwas included in the first Romanian edition i 1937. Opera h i Mihai Eminesmm e works of Mihai Eminescu). Hasdeu. Vol. Ion C.rti. (N. 76-81.213.“CZtre mmrinesc (Romanian prophetism). Ovidia. 1934. 2. Densugianu. 16. (Originally 29. In Pmjthm 25. B. 1932. Iorga. Nicolae.163-176. 1913.Enciclopediu mmrind Vol. Portocalii. Istoria mmrinibrpentm popoml mmrinesc @story of the Romanians for the Romanian people). ‘CExcursiune arheologicl din anul 1869” (Archaeological excursion in the year 1869).Vol. @s edition reproduces that of1935. I. Istoria mmrinih. 1994. Sacerdofeanu. 1935. published i Cu~tntuA11 n September 1927. Murlragu. See also BabuBuznea. 5th eltion.332.Cezar ‘CDespre daci” (About theDacians). 14. 1888. 13. Romrinul. C. see also Babu-Buznea. Alexandru V. Brltianu. 21. Open m~@. Bucharest Fundagia pentru Literaturl gi Art.245. Vol.173. Dacia pnisto?ic2. 11. . 172.kt. ‘‘Regele Carol II”. 1.&h. 1900. Grigore. 1938. 1938.Vol. dl. Regarding Etninescu’s ccDacianism7’. By N. 1908.rt?i. 1. Pirvan. Vol. Mamalde istoria mmrinilbr. q. Nalionabsmul h Eminem (Eminescu’s nationalism). 1. Mturi istorice mmrine. NOTES Russo. 14-26 July and 24 July-5 August 1858. 1979.307. Eliade. . See note 449. Bucharest: Editura Universitlfii Bucuregti. 1899.87. 1995. 1972. Bucharest: Institutul de Arte Grafice ccBucovina”. Vasile. 1.Mmafnscci (The RomanianAthenaeum in Bucharest: The great fresco). Under the direction of Lucian Boia. 16. Bucharest: Editura Albatros. 1983. P.

Milviu~a.Bucharest: Editura Academiei. Ioan. m0ra. naturally “if we take into account the continuity of the religious-spiritualmonotheism of the Geto-Daco-Romanians”. Istoria miktura‘ ap@omIui mmrjn. 1873. ‘%lemente introductive la problema: Originea. P.446. 1905..h .’? 42.Studii. Trans. Apart from this. Bucharest. Comeliu (lawyer). Crigan. 28. and importance of the Romanian people in the world). 2nd edition. Bucharest: Funda$a pentru Literaturg gi Art.rti. Concerning the avatars of t h i s mysterious figure. ed. “Regele Carol 11”. Mihail. . Vol. Bogdan. B.27.000 years of existence on this earth. Ep~ologmm Mugntrm Romuniue. Bucharest: Editura Academiei. Mitz~ri zjtorice mmcinyti. tracii 12 (August 1975): 811. Rodica Mihaela Scafeg. Bucharest. Ciaugu.(The history of tn slaveryin Roman Dacia).21. 1972). Brgtescu-Voinegti. 37. “inceputurile istoriei poporului romh”. J’nien’ berun. Berciu. Eliade. 38. 33.Bucharest: Tipografia Carpa$. Eliade. Burebzjta . Although the article is unsigned. Duck JunsctitZ Ongineu preistoricd a Btrctqrtilor (SanskritDacia: The prehistoric origin of Bucharest). See. Vol. ‘Ze mythe de Zalmois” (The myth of Zalmoxis). Bucharest: Editura Minerva.By B.278-281.C‘IntrOducereyy.ri pokfia?. 30. and R&coah . 1957. 43. 1945. Bucharest Editura !jtiin$fici gi Enciclopedic. ‘Tanteonul migcirii legionare” (”he pantheon of the Legionary movement). lxxvii. (“Even a mere 100. 32. See Hasdeu.ripmbhmele ei uctuuh (Romanian historiography and its current problems). “Lupta biistinagilor din Dacia impotriva cotropitodor romani” (The struggle of the natives of Dacia against the Roman invaders). vechimea gi importania poporului romin in lume” (Introductory elements to the problem: The origin. 1. Vol.ri @oca sa. the director and deputy clirector of the Institute and the principal architects of its historical fantasies. fizionomia unei limbi?” (In what does the physiognomy of a language consist?). Ioan Al. Bucharest: Editura !jtiin$fici. duratg romheasd’ (Prolegomena to a certain Romanian duration) Dma Redvivu no. 1. 44. Ion Hora$u. Anulele Universiti@‘Btrcm. I consider it my elementary duty to mention at least the names of Ion Popescu-Pupri and Gheorghe Zaharia. Bucharest: “Roza Vmturilor” Publishing House. P. see Petre. 34. Bucharest: Editura Cartea Romheasck 1942. 1984. Anule de istorie 4 (1976): 142-152. IJtoria Critcdu mmbnihvol. Dumitru. ‘(in ce const. 1 (April 1941): 2. Zoe. Pmgrumtd Pun5dul.13. Origineu neamtrhi mminep # u bmbii nomtn. Mircea. Dr. 1. it is claimed that the Dacians founded Rome and that the Orthodox patriarchate of Bucharest is the oldest in Europe. Horia. 43. Istoria schv~jzhi Dacia Romana‘. 41. ‘Trolegomena la o anumit. 1992. Dumitru. Roller. Hasdeu. Mircea. 35. 1. 1937. 204-207.i Comzmht Romh dejjzm’nu sodetqtii sociubsfe m~dtilaferal depoltate Znuintarr? a Romhiei p n mmunzjm (Program of the Romanian Communist Party for the forging of the multilaterally developed socialist society and the advance of Romania towards communism). in this connection.’Istoria RPR Bucharest. Chapter 3 of “in loc de introducere” (Byway of introduction). Istorie (1993-1994): 23-36.39. The tone of the lectures included in this brochure is vehemently anti-Hungarian (at a time when the destiny of Transylvania was at issue. 39. 31. Belch. G. Niplescu. 1952 edition.ri cercetcin‘ de istorie veche 2 (July-December 1951): 73-95. Ionescu-Nica. Hasdeu. Tudor. The Romanians: A Concrje Histoy. 1977. B. Bucharest Editura Politic&1975. 40. 182. Istoriogruju m m h 2 . and we are s t i l l led to the conclusion that we are the oldest people of Europe.ri atumri “barhure” in Duciu Roman2 (Revolts and ‘‘barbaria”’ attacks in Roman Dacia).. 29. a territory claimed by the author using Dacian arguments).NOTES 247 27. Bucharest: Editura Militar. P. age. 36. 1957. 1886 (new edition. Noi.

13. 12. Vol. Vol. 1968.15. 11. Inktpntcin‘mmdnepi. 1. Roller. Giurescu. 1895. Bucharest: Editura 9. Ioan. Stzla’ii asqbrastiiminiei mmdnilor in Dada Traianz. 1974. 1. 49.213. 6.224. VoL 1.854..15.306-308. F. P. C. Panaitescu.60.244. Giurescu.25. D. Istoria Romhniei.208. 1946. Iorga. Bloch. Vol. 1967. Paris. Ed Andrei Oletea Bucharest: Editura Stiin$ficl. jlovfH (July-September1952): 152-153. Hasdeu. 3. Studii asqra sta‘miniei mmdnilor tir Dada Traiana‘ de A.269. Bucharest: Editura pentru Literaturl. A.” 7. N. B. 1894. 1994 edition. Vol.33. Giurescu. 5th edition. 1873. D. 86.260. 1. 4. Gheorghe. 1. Istoria RP. 2nd edition. Iagi: Tipografia NaGonall. Birzu. 54-56.. 1923. C. 15. Ibid. privire “Cu la unele probleme din domeniul cercetirilor istorice” (Concerning some problems in the field of historical research). 14. ‘Troblema originii clasei . Onginea mminilbr. Iagi. Snr’eri i r t o r i ~ . i Xenopol. 1969. Istoria nitica‘ a mmdnih. Sincai. Vol. 1. 1964. 1902 (reprinted Bucharest. Dare de seam5 criticl”. Pirvan. Histoin de La Languemzsmaine (History of the Romanian language). gi Pedapgici. Xenopol. Mihail. 52. 268-278. 50. 16. N.103-106. 51. 1929). Teoria fzsi Roeshr. Panaitescu. Britianu.Editura Enciclopedicl.82. Continuitatea mapki mateiab . 1979. Romdnii. fnsemncitLlteaJtudiilbrskave pentm mmhi (”he importance of Slav studies for Romanians).60.808. Bogdan.247. kt. 1. Bucharest. 1991.ri a mai mdtor n5ammi. 46. Apologi p o w f’hhtoire oil Mitier d’hirtorien (Apology for history o r the trade of historian). Bucharest: Editura $tiin$fic. P. 1993.. Bucharest EdituraAcademiei. 1884.130. Ovid.i mmhn.569. Vol. Bogdan.. @ bit. C. 0 en&miii un miracolistoricpopond m m h (Anenigma and a historical miracle: The Romanian people).ri qirituah apopomhi mmhnpe teritoridjirtei Dadi Bucharest: Editura Academiei. Iagi. Alexandru. C. Ligia. Birzu. Bucharest Funda$a pentru Literaturi Ti Arti “Regele Carol 11”. E d MironConstantinescu. 1. 1970. Ed Aurelian SacerdoJeanu. 35. 1960. 1. Innputurih $tiin$fici. P.op. and StefanPascu. Vol. Hmnica mmhilor. Bucharest: Editura Didactic. Marc. boiereTti”. Bucharest: Editura Minerva. Vassile. Ioan. Paris. Ligia and Stelian Brezeanu. 17. mmane ka gzhh Dunzrii. Vol.289. Istoria Romrinhi. C.282-283.776. C. Istoria miktma‘ apopomfzsim m h . 51. Dimitrie. dt. 53. P. Bucharest.17-19. I. 1940. Istoriap0pond. Onginea ji continuitaka mmdnilor. Bucharest. Vol. Philippide. 1927. Ibid.ri bu&nii @e Romanians and the Bulgarians).248 NOTES 45. Reproduction of the 1943 edition. 2. G. Onciul.”) Chapter Three:Continuity 1. Istoria mmdnilor. “Slavii au venit in Dacia in calitate de cuceritori” (The Slavs came to Dacia as conquerors). V. Constantin Daicoviciu. 5. 2. Stndii Revirtz de irtorie If. 1990. ‘Teoriah Roesht. 108. Arheologie ji tradilie irtozic2 Bucharest:. 10. Bucharest Editura Didactic. Densugianu. Iorga.R. Vol. . 47. 48.u. 1. 8. Vol. (‘Zes h o m e s ressemblent plus i leur temps qu’ileurs p&es. 1. Istoria mmrinih. gi Pedagogic. 3144. Istoria mmdnilbrpentmpopomf mmrinesc Vol 1. 288-289: “Un point oii nous tombons d’accord avec Rosler c’est que le centre dela formation du roumain doit &re placC au sud du Danube.

Probably they did not merit a response. 5. D. 3 -. 230. Coordinated by Constantin Preda.1889. 76. Ihd. The most recent contribution on the matter is the article ‘Dridu” by EugeniaZaharia. since they did not t i k hn as one otlght to think! 20.394. Vol. Mirela-Luminila.399-400. Din istoria Romdniei. Iorga. This repeats the interpretation of the culture as strictly Romanian and perfectly unitary over an area larger than that of present-day Romania. Murgescu.292. Bucharest: Editura Universitg$i Bucure~ti. that the Slav period continued into the tenth century. in Temeiurih tlnin’ a mmdnilbr (The historical foundations of the first union of the btoricea&primei . G. he was seen at the time. 1907. Ioan. as the political leader of the entire Romanian space. 1943. Bucharest: Editura Militari. D.28 21. 10. 7. protector of Wallachia.r etfomation de L‘tlniti mmvaine (Origins and formation of Romanian unity). Istoria mibtan? apoporulti mmdn. I. 138. 3. 2. Nicolae. 4. I mention his work not to claim that he is right. q . 14. ‘13.1890. Carlo. A.. 19-20. Horedt. merely to show that the problem is too complicated to be dealt with in categorical judgements without appeal. 1986. Pmgramtll Purtidului ComzmhtRomdn akfiurin a societ+i‘sociabste mdtikzteral deqvoltate . Bucharest: Editura Politici. 19. Si Pedagogic. 214.rti. Goldner.. 1993. Vol. later settled in Germany): Siebenhgen i Friihmittehiter pransylvania in the early Middle m Ages). 367. 1908. Istoria mmdnihz Din L Y ~ mai vechi timpuripind la molu$a din 1821 (The history of the Romanians: From the earliest times to the revolution of 1821). LupaS. Mitzmri istorice mnzdne. but Constantin Daicoviciu and Kurt Horedt are not.. in Enkhpedia adeolbgiei . Sirbu. 10-13. Mihail.” Adina Berciu Drgghicescu and Florea Stinculescu. both by Romanians and by foreigners. Dimitrie. Iqi: H. 5-6. Mihai. 1992.210-21 1. Chapter Four: Unity 1. Xenopol. Adrian Pascu and Bogdan Teodorescu. Ihd. 2. Vol. Ion Nestor is mentioned. Xenopol. Kogilniceanu. 3.300. 308: “As lord of Moldavia. Istoria mmdnihrdin Dada Traianz. Istoria mmdnihrpentmpopoml mmdnesc. Britianu. 1995. Ih’d. whose familiarity with the early medieval archaeology of the Romanian area is beyond question.ri istoriei uechi a Romdniei (Encyclopaedia of the archaeology and early history of Romania). Onginih &mbz‘ht neohte. 5 8. Roller. Opere. Editura $tiin$fici gi Enciclopedici. 1888. Bucharest Editura Minerva. 15. and that the Romanian element only appeared from the ninthcentury. 1937. 1986. Mihail. 2. Bucharest: Editura Didactic. 1. e d Istoria R P R Bucharest.ri inaintare a Romdniei qk? mmtlnism. Vol. and supported and followed by the Transylvanians. considers that in the seventh century Transylvania was completely Slavicized. Bonn. 9. Ibid. Tagliavini. 1977.43. 2. 1952 edition. Bucharest: Editura Socec. Manea. 1975. A. Onciul. Bucharest: Funda$a Culturali Regal9 ‘Trincipele Carol”. 1996. “Galeria na$onalgde personaje istorice in manualele de istorie din gcoala primarg (1859-1900)” (The national gallery of historical characters in primary school history textbooks. 11. 16. Istoria unirii mmdnilbr. 158-1 59. 0ngine. Bucharest: “Carol Gobl”. Vol 1. 12. Under the direction of Lucian Boia. 81-83.NOTES 249 18. Significant for the limits within which the discussion could evolve is the work of Kurt Horedt (a German archaeologist of Romanian origin. professor at the University of Cluj. Istoria ItliMihai Viteapl Vol2.. Vol. Bucharest. 6. Vol. Ioan. Bucharest Editura Enciclopedici.173.148. 1859-1900). kt. Ihid.40.

Cimpeanu.. Mircea. Istoria mmrjnilof:Epoca modema . Pmerbek mmbnihr (The proverbs of the Romanians). Mitmik comtmismtlltli rumcinesc.63. without exaggeration. 6. Lucian. E. By Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie. 118. pentru Literatur. Ibid. %a!. no longer even feel the need for any explanation. Proverbs offer a synthetic expression of traditional opinions. 1993. W t a mmrinilorpentm srnitateanaiionahi 1834-1849 (The struggle of the Romanians for national unity. 17. while in others it fallsbelow 10 percent.165-166. Bodea. 1995. Bucharest: Editura Albatros. Bucharest: Fundafia Regal.-R. Dram14 imp2ratuI Ws2hdw’ (Dracula. 19. 164. 34. lord of all the Romanians. 20. Noica. 1941. 1995. gi Art.62. Zamfirescu. Sentimentd rumhescaljiniei.. 1996. Dumitru. 28. 1995.98-175.) affect over a quarter of the male population. Lovinescu.356. Extnmadnqfa‘ mmcinearcd m e 1930s: The Romanian extreme Right).353. Bucharest. Constantin. 26. 22.X V : realitate istoric. 1992. Bucharest: mmcine modeme. Bucharest: h c o r a . H. 1924. 11. Blaga.400.138. Dinpsibohgiap$omlui mmh. Op. theliteracy rate in some d@adements is over 80 percent. stating simply and categorically: “Stephen the Great may be considered. 31. 1. DrEghicescu. C z h r a mmcin4 o man mhurd nl destin universal (Romanian culture: A great culture with a universal destiny). I&d.C. Z. 1995. for example. in “Anthropologie de la jeunesse masculine en France au niveau d’une cartographie cantonale (1819-1830)” (Anthropology of masculine youth i France at the n level of district cartography. A remarkable achievement from this point of view is the “portrait of France” minutely reconstructed by Emmanuel LE Roy Ladurie. Vol. Vol.886. Istoria kteratzirii mmrine de la ongini pin2 in p n v n t (”he history of Romanian literature from its origins to the present day). Humanitas. Dan.L. Omea. 29. Poktice (Political essays).45.118. 1936. Pavel. Bucharest: Editura Academiei. Istoria ktik~a~iei Chapter Five: The Romanians and the Others 1. Cornelia. 345. .” Dogaru. Blaga. ‘Trontul romihesc antiotoman in secolele X I V . 1907.. George. sau mit istoriografic?” (Ihe Romanian anti-Ottoman front in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries: Historical reality or historiographical myth?). C h e s c u .121. Bucharest: Editura Didactic. 34. 1996. 21.ri ConteyboranJ (”he history of the Romanians: The modem and contemporary period). 23. Vulchescu. See Zanne. Ed.141. Depatru on’infaia tlmelbr (Four times at the ballot box). emperor of the east).130-149. 1978. 35. 1901. Ion Popescu-Pupri. From thecultural pointof view. Bucharest Editura Eminescu. Dimensiunea mmcineaca‘ aexidenpi. Under the direction of Lucian Boia.Bucharest: Editura UniversitZ$i Bucuregti. Paris: Gallimard. Bucharest: Editura Socec. Where physical build is concerned. Bucharest: Editura Globus. Bucharest. 33.91-95. Mircea. 1991. Bucharest: Editura Funda$ei Culturale Romke. 25. Patapievici. 2nd edition. S”a$dmioktic. Nicolae. reproduced i Le territoin de I’hzjtorien (I’he n territory of the historian).. gi Pedagogic. while in others they affect less than 1 percent. Editura Fundafiei Culturale Romhe. Istoriapopomlui m m h (The history of the Romanian people). 1978.166-171. 11-14. 27. Ceaugescu. Ovidiu. 1834-1849)). Bucharest: Editura ‘Toza Vmturilor”. Bucharest: Editura Politicl. 18. 36. 1994. Bucharest Humanitas.361. 32. 1983. 1819-1830).250 NOTES Romanians). in collaboration with Paul Dumont and Michel Demonet. Iuliu A. Cristea. 8th grade textbook. 30.57 m. Anii tniTC. 1993.125-126. Lucian. there are d$an%?ments where deficiencies of height (under 1. 1967.

For the industrial mythology of communism. Delavrancea’s opinion of Germany: “Administration. h”$oiul nostm in nok @c (Our war in daily notes). 1995. Caragiale. .tiganihr din Romhia (Contributions to the history of the Gypsies in Romania).88. see La mytbohgh skentgque du communhme (The scientific mythology of Boia. general stores. in Hasku’s Egmohgiinrm Magnum Romaniae. 1944-1947” (Light comes from the East: The new image of the Soviet Union in postwar Romania. 1963.rti Istorie(1985): 51-69. arts.105. 1939. @ cite. +rban Cioculescu. barbers. Bucharest: Humanitas. 4. 2. Craiova: ie Editura ‘Xamuri”. including the obsession with engineering. beer. part 4. 1995.86. Drlghicescu. 1994. kt. letters. 16.68-112. P. Pompiliu. 1898. 19. Boia. food. Mihail.131-137. I. 9. Na$onahmuf hiEminesm. and the language of the Gypsies). New edition. Muriiragu. 2nd edition. all. Ion C. Bucharest.. 4. foolish. Bucharest: Editura pentru Literaturz. 8. see Potra.NOTES ~~~ 251 23-28.118 Driighicescu. ‘the customs. all.. 1978. Bucharest: Editura Pacifica. e t . ‘1 3. Constant. 1944-1947). Iorga. Bucharest: Editura Universiti+i Bucuregti. Drzghicescu.170. 81. 1837 (reproduced in Opere.429-430. 2. 1932. Gheorghe. Bucharest: Editura Enciclopedicl. . 2. b . n. 10. Caen: Paradigme.19-29: letter of Caragiale to AlecuUrechia. . Ibid Vol. stupid. 1. sciences. hr maws. 2. Vol. P. 11. 2. L. The first representative text is Mihail Kogihceanu’s Esquhse sur l’ktoir. Dumitru. @ kt. I. Bucharest: Fundaea “Regele Carol I”. 21. all. Eliade. Panaitescu. Dinpsibohgiapqomfui mmh. communism). Brltianu. 20. Nicolae. 1934. Paris.609. Constantin Penfm cei de mhe. 55-56. and especially French and German influence. Ed. 2. 3. De l‘infi’ueencefranfahe s w i’espn’tpubbc en Roumanie (On French influence on the public spirit in Romania).31-32. Amintin’ din mmea cehr d ieri (For those of e tomorrow: Reminiscences from the time of those of yesterday). Bucharest: Editura Albatros. 12. 1994. Opere. trams. C. monuments. Lucian. Vol. Vol. 1991. 7. 5. see my study “Sur la diffusion de la culture europkenne en Roumanie (XIXe siscle et dCbut du n e &cle)” (On the diffusion of European c u l t u ~ Romania:Nineteenth century and early twentieth in century). r’getoianu. O n the Western model. Dumitru.308-310.ri ude (Letters and papers). Intetpretik mmhe. Lucian. 262. Dumitru.241. 1993. 15.354-385). 112. waiters.d. public. “Introduction”. 7/20 July 1905.252. For an overview of the issue.. 6. Vol. Soiron’ . Noua imagine a UniuniiSovietice in Romhia postbelicl. Lxt’cohgie statistic2 mmunicd (Romance statistical lexicology). vol. railways. Dumitru. q. 1907. w t a rich ih bibliography.kt. Maneca.rti. i-xi. Bucharest: Editura Cartea Rolnineasci. 17. langue des Ckains (Sketch of the history. Brltianu. Contrihu$uni la htonml . Ibid. 18. army. The installation of the Soviet myth is discussed at greater length by Adrian Cioroianu: “Luminavine de la Wirit. op. Vol 1. Miturilk comwiwmdui mmdnesc Under the direction of Lucian Boia. “De ce n-au cucerit turcii $ide romhe?” (Why did the Tu& not conquer the Romanian lands?). cabs. Vol. houses. 14. Anahh UniverJiti$i’Bunlre. also the articles “Armean”and “ATfibur”.ri cuvint2ti (Documents and speeches).256. imbecile!” Kogdmceanu. 18. Acte .

Laurian. RaTboiuf izvpotriva poponhi mmin. Dobmgea in pragul veanhi af . La Gtrem de Tranyfvank (I‘he war of Transylvania). Ilie. 1960. 2. Istoria emnomieipokfice. 1873. D. i@&atuf Ris&itz~hi. 208. Iosif Constantin. 73-76. Bucharest. op. Bucharest Socec.267. Bucharest. M. CeauSescu. 1995. +e M . The Gnat Furtune.i a navigafiunei Romhiei. Dramkz. P. Published by Sabin Manuilk Vol 2. 23. 1995. Mircea. See alsothe same author’s MibniulimperialafDaciei @’he imperial millennium of Dacia).145.905. Hasdeu. 1993. q. Istoria militcrrti apopodui mmcin. Bucharest: Humanitas. The author considers that Romania was “at the forefront of the counties which professed a systematic state anti-Semitism” (p. Bucharest: Editura “$ansa”. Scurtu. Bucmst. Dan. Cemtiri asupra 0rquf. Bucharest: Editura Globus. Emmanuel. 33. Bucharest Editura “Roza Vmturilor”. “Destinul mare a unei ~ i r lnici” (The great destiny of a small country). “En Roumanie c’est-i-dire nulle part. 36. 32. 1992. Underthe direction of Lucian Boia. Montpellier. 1 i Mifun% commirmufui mminesc. 33.409. 1994. London: Heinemann.O. Iancu. 29.1904. 24. Dogaru. 2. 1935. Pans: Plon. For the list of emperors of Thraco-Dacian origin see Drigan. Camus. Bucharest: Imprimeria na$onalZ. Leon. 1986. 30. Renaud. Boia. Volovici. hhologia naiionahti ji pmb&ma emimci’! Eseu deqn forneb antiremitirmufui intehctuaLin Rominia anihr ’30 @’he nationalist ideology and the ‘yewish problem”: An essay on the forms of intellectual anti-Semitism in 1930s Romania). 31. Iosif Constantin.. 35. Din ceh mai vechi timpzm‘pina h noasln @’he war of the entire people for the defense of the fatherland among the Romanians: From the earliest timesuntil our days). 1996. 1997.252 NOTES 22. Iosif Constantin. D. 4647. Vol.”La Righ du Jen 2 (1990): 152173. 1962. 1865. A significantlytitled book is Titu Georgescu’s RomLinia intn Iafta . LEmancipation des Jz@ deRoumanie (1913-1919) m e emancipation of the Jews of Romania..ri Mafta (Romania between Yalta and Malta). 88.425. Ioan and Constantin Hlihor.ri mnjsionafi apopufaiiei (Elthnic and confessional structure of the population). Bucharest: Editura Universitlfii B L I C U R ~ ~ ~ . M.i Constania (Researches on the town of Constanfa). UXboirJ intngzhi popor penttrl apirana patziei /a mmini. Reansimtntul popuka$i ji hcztiniefor din 7 ianuarie 1992 (Census of population and dwellings on 7 January 1992). Galah 1885.19-30. Lucian. 1897. DrZgan. kt. 27. Carol. Paul. Istoria mminih Bucharest: Editura Europa Nova. 1986. Olivia. August Tmboniu. CarrZrre. Bucharest. Recensimintzdgeneraf afjopukziiei Rominieidin 29 dcembrie 1930 (General census of the population of Romania on 29 December 1930). 38. Ioan Vodi af Cz{@&’t. 255-266. 1995. Romulus. Vol. 25. See the mythological rCsumC of the issue in Drigan. 1993. London: Heinemann. a cornerfuftli $. Stmctura etnica‘ . 1980. Ionescu. 1993. 26. 32). Zamfirescu.Bucharest Imprimeria Ministerului de Resbel. 1938. 1939-1947. Vol. Istoria mmbnihz 4th edition. (‘‘The application of the principle of the defense of the fatherland by the entire people led to the creation of an impressive Romanian military power withfewequals on the European continent in terms of the number of soldiers assembled”) 37. Bucharest. 39. and The Spoilt City.=-ha (Dobrogea on the eve of the twentieth century). 1990. 3941. 30. xxi. Manning. Cornplot iinpotriva Rominki. 1913-1919).. Scriban. Bucharest Editura Academiei de inalte Studii Militare. B.cit. I have reproduced (or calculatedaspercentages) demographic data from the following sources: Ionescu. 28. Bucharest: Editura Militarz. Paris: P.L. Morand.

1939. 16. 1967. Meinoim et pmjeetJ de n!me.xviii. P P.7-20.ri a mai mrdtor neamuri. 19. Bucharest. 1959. P. Ioan. Panaitescu. Vol.415-417. Vol. P. Hmnica mm&ilor .. P. Franqois and Laurence Bonfighli. 14. V l a d 15. Grigore. 4. Xenopol. Gheorghe.kt.C. 1908.ll.4245. 1865. part 1. op. Ioan. Ureche. Ed. A. 2. 6..60. 23.see Tepeg si imaginea prinplui ideal i societatea romineascg a secolului al XIX-lea” (Vlad n Tepes and the image of the ideal prince in nineteenth-centuryRomanian society). 11. Iqi: H. O n thedevelopment of theTepegpoliticalmyth. Xenopol. C. Gripre. Bucharest. The king himself spoke about all this in his historical address to the Romanian Academy. Ioan.1870. P. ? 12. Din htoria Rominhi.306-322. . Mituri zkt0ni-e mmdnepj. Letopisetul ‘J’Ztii Moldovei @e chronicle of the land of Moldavia). “Nouveau tableau historique et politique de la Moldavie”.ri msepi aszpa hi (VladTepeg and the 17.. Giurescu.149. Under the direction of Lucian Boia. O n the national pantheon see Murgescu. kt.111. 1995. 1995. Bucharest: Socec. Carp: Literary critic and man of letters).). Ureche. Bogdan. 4th edition. [1942].85. A.. Chapter Six: The Ideal Prince 1. Bucharest: Editura Socec. 184. Sincai. 3. P. @. . 1943. Hasdeu. D. 1896. P.Histoin (History).. A. Onciul.278. 2nd edition. 2-1. “Galena na$onalg de personaje istorice in manualele de istorie din gcoala primarg (1859-1900)”. 9.4 XV-?WIpubkcate deIoanBogdan (SlavoRomanian chronicles of the fifteenth andsixteenth centuries edited by Ioan Bogdan). Goldner. Vhd Tepej p’naruilirmih German and Russian narratives about him). 22.543.Vol. kt.Vol. 2. bt. C.. 8. By Vlad Georgescu. Ibid. germane . x. Istoria mmhib. Ed. 1889. B. Scrieri Lteran. Bucharest: Funda$a Regal5 pentru Literaturigi Arti.209. Xstoriograja mmcjna‘$pmbhmelLD ei adzlab. Panaitescu. Viafa ld 20. Giurescu.Vol. D. nitic Lterurp’ Lterut (P. D. ‘Filosofia portretuluilui Ppeg” @e philosophy of the portrait of J’epey). GiuresA. 3.Vol. Bucharest 1909. 21. 1955. Onciul. 10. Bucharest:Editura Universitg$i Bucuregti. D. Hasdeu. Lovinescu. 2. C. Bucharest: Editura de Statpentru Literaturg siArt.242.44. B. r i i i m a Voda’ ceLB2tdn m e life ofVlad Tepeg and Mircea Vodi the Old). (Memoranda and projects reform.Op. Bucharest:FundaGa pentru Literaturg gi Arti “Carol I”. 1396-1 877-1902”. Cuq.19. C. Bucharest. Cmnicun’mrmhi. P. Bucharest. 1905. lui V b Tepej . xxi. Joan Vod2 wl Cumpkt. E. 1972. 30. 5. Cwtnt&z%regelui Carol I (”he addresses of King Carol I). 7. ‘Vlad Tepeg V ~ d i ’ ~ .. Anahh Univenz’tqtiiBunmyti Istorie (1993-1994): 67-78. of Xenopol. morah +pobfice. 193-194. Bucharest. 2. Bolintineanu.104. 1. Vaurkal. Vol. Ditnitrie. Bogdan. 13.293. Vol. ‘‘Nicopole. Bogdan. Under the direction of Robert Frank. C. 2. Vol. Bucharest: Funda$a pentru Literaturg gi Arti ‘ERegele Carol II”. Constantinescu.NOTES 253 41. ‘1 937.q. 1961.. Bucharest: Editura pentru Literaturi. Paris: Belin. Cmniw& slbvo-mmhe din secoh. Daniela. a .Bucharest: Editura pentruLiteraturZ. Bucharest: Imprimeria Ministerului de Resbel. 2. Istoria mmhilordin DakaTraiana‘. Mirela-Luminita.68. 18. 2. Dimitrie. Ltopiretul lui &ani (The Chronicle of Azarie). ob. 117.

C. Bucharest: Editura Ziarului ccUniversul”. 38. Contemporary accounts and unpublished documents collected by Tzigara-Samurcq. cit. 44. See the brochure Ateneulmmcjn din Bumre. Vol. An exceUent analysisof the mythologizing of t i ccdynasty” be found in Serban. Mituri ho i e mmcjne. De I’aH e t b manGn d’accommoder les h i m de l’bistoire de . ‘VIImit ferninin:ReginaMaria” (A feminine myth: Queen Marie). Constantin. See. 27. Diamandi. Pentm cei de mt2. It is true: everybody doubted. Lovinescu. Bucharest. Duca.Bucharest. 1992. Bucharest: Editura I. lbid Vol. hs can 32. Cotrug. 100-120.94. 25. the anthology collected by Cardag (qb. t rc 33. Duca. Among the better-known poets included in the volume of verses dedicated to Prince.. Pans.rti Mareaf s z Bucharest. Gh. 6.” Note Poktice (Political notes). Sorin. “ASa cum mi-1 aduc aminte” (As I remember him). @. Aron. 42. 1 1-1 98. 45.ri 26.30-31. 156170. 28.26-27. Herz. 1938. 5. “Ctitorii regale” (Royal foundations) and “Mitmnea totugi s-a Amplinit” (Yet the miracle has happened). 11-17. The final part of the fresco has been modifed: Carol 11 and Michael are missing. 3. Gahna oamenilor. Bizomescu. Vol.d. Gorun. ‘%iteva amintiri despre regele CarolI” (A few memories of IGng Carol I). 37.ri mdin!ci de dntZre/iz’ neumtrlzi (Kmg Carol I1 exalted with praise and faithby the singers of the Romanian people). 1940.253 NOTES 24. Petrescu. 39. (AI. Vol. ci.15.1616. Ibid. 7 40. eveybo&. Al. Btrnln. Memoni’ (Memoirs).4446. Antipa. 1. 1991. Bacalbaga. q . 1990.@e gallery of men of politics). C. 26-27. Argetoianu. Rechercheiconogrq%que sur le panthion scohin de &a Tmh2me Rt!!ubhpe m e heroes of French history: Iconographical research on the school pantheon of the Third Republic). “InfluenJe ale tradifiei nafionale i noua noastrii organizare de stat” (Influences of national tradition in our new state organization). for example. Constantin. Din ziala regehz’ C a d I (From the life of IGng Carol I). l’ortnte si amintin’ (Portraits and memories). Mituri istorin mmcjne. am inti^ din mmea nlbr de ieri. fnmvnareapnhului rege al Romcjniei Zntregite &a A l b a I d a la Bunln. n. Maria Doamna. Vol.rtii de altkfatta‘(Bucharest of past times)..109. Constantin. Bucharest: Editura Machiavelli. 68-69. Bucharest Humanitas.364.36. Regele Cad ul II-leaprvamriritm skua‘ . The “divided” pantheon of the French has been investigated by Christian Amalvi: L s H i m de /Histoin de h France. Cezar.101. without exception. G. Gh. Serban. 34.ne. and Adrian Maniu.hi). 5th edition. cit. 92.17. Cardag. We find the same appreciation with Alexandru Marghiloman: the queen was “the only being who believed that the end of the war would be as it was. b 43. 1938. Romhiu (4 and 9July 1938).rti. G. 163. 1995. Octavian Goga.rti (The coronation of the first king of Romania made wholein Alba Iulia and in Bucharest). 1939. 35. part 5.boLtii. 2nd edition. E. Giurescu. 31. and later IGng.d. Carol I1 from his birth to 1936 may be mentioned George Cogbuc. I. Maria. I. Sterie. 29. Bucharest. 1935.157. 41.d. 36. n. Bucharest Editura Expres. Gripre. 3. Bucharest: Biblioteca pentru to$. 1. Hodog).. Petrescu.. nc. Sorin. I.t Vol. Cezar. G. . 1979. Bucharest: Editura Machiavelli. Cei tni regi @e three kings). n 30..1996. Zece ani de domnie ai MaiestZ$z’Sale RegeluiCamlulll-lea (Ten years of reign of His Majesty King Carol 1 ) Vol. Bucharest Editura Abeona.2nd edition. 140. 5-6.1927. 1. 1.74. Galaction. 0). 1992. Bucharest Editura Gesa. Bucharest: Humanitas. Gala. Argetoianu. 1993. 1995. “Briitienii” (The Briitianus).

94. 199-219. si Pedqpgici. Roller. Isto7iamodernd a Romcjniei eJ l( modem history of Romania). NOTES 255 Frame (On the art and manner of accommodating the heroes of French history). htn DumneTu ji neamuf meu(Between God and my people). Crigan. 1992. Mitun!istoria?mmcjne+ti. 1985 edition. Gheorghe Smarandache. ‘Tromovarea femeii sau despre destructurarea sexului feminin“ (The promotion of woman. “Ilegaligtii” (The illegalists). see Petre. Under the direction of Lucian Boia. or the destructuring of the female sex).. Serban. In the 1952 edition the last two disappear. ed. Ibid. yutea. Chapter Seven:After 1989 1. Sorin. 60. Adrian. 1987. Paris. Mitun% comunLmuhi mmcjnesc. Mihail.110-1 11. in a group photograph. Ana Pauker.495. 116. Under the direction of LucianBoia. Ovid “Rostul revolu$iei romhegti. 2nd edition. Three portraits of him are reproduced. Bucharest: Editura $tiin$ficl gi 58. Topa. 54.518-525. .q 22-38. For feminine mythology in communism. 61. 55. 51. 9th grade textbook. Bizomescu. Bucharest: Editura UniversitZ@ Bucurepi.. Bunbirta p’epoca Enciclopedic. who are mentioned to an equal extent and with relative discretion. Moreover. 57. and Maria Totu. 46. Milviup ‘Tantonul miscirii legionare. becoming the central figure of contemporary history. 50. 48. De la comemoriri religioase la man aduniripopulare” (Mircea the Old: From religious commemorations to great popular assemblies) and “Rovine-o ecua$e cu mai multe necunoscute” (Rovine: An equation with many unknowns).h!li#un% comzmirmuhirnm2ne. in the previous editions. 1988.131-165. Istoria RP. 56. Ciaugu. while Gheorghiu-Dej is mentioned repeatedly. Mitun% comunismtdui mmcjnesc. Coordinated by Ion Pitroiu.. 182.R Bucharest. Petru. Bucharest. Maria. compared with a single presence. 52. Bucharest: Editura UniversitZ$i Bucuregti. Ion Hora$u.” (Ion Antonescu and Michael I: Between history and politics). Bucharest. De la Zalmoxe prin Stefan Vodi gi Eminescu la Czpitan” (”he purpose ‘of Romanian revolution: From Zalmoxis through Stephen Vodg and Eminescu to the Captain). Buna Vestin (”he annunciation) (8 November 1940). Editura Arta Grafici. 45-58. Pomnca mmii @e commandment of the time) (28 March 1935). 138. Ioan. the textbook is full of quotations from his articles and speeches (which were not there before). ‘CNoul htrupat” @e new incarnate). 1988. Contrih. In 194748.” Mitun’ Ltonk mmcjnyti. Mugat.96. 1997. Mitun’ irtorice mmcjnyti. Evoiz&ajmei de guverntjmint in Ijtoria modern2 fi contemporan2 Bucharest: Editura Stiin$fici gi Enciclopedici. Hurezeanu. Leonard. Mitun’ istorice mmrSnejti (Romanian historical myths). “Nicolae Bdcescu in propaganda comunisti” (NicoIae Bdcescu in communist propaganda). sa. the early editions of Roller’s textbook kept a balance between Gheorghiu-Dej. 1977. DmlL. “Ion Antonescu gi Mihai I. Bucharest: Editura Didactic. 49. ‘CEpoca demnitifii gi ^mpliniriimarilor idealuri na$onale” (The age of dignity and the fulfilltnent of the great national ideals).220-254. Driiguganu. Scurtu. 1952 edition. fntre istorie sipolitic. 59. The career of Mircea the Old under communism is discussed byCristiana Dineat& “Mircea celBitrin. Mircea and Ion Pitroiu. 1995. 53.iiprivind viuiapobticd din Rom2nia. “Ioan V0dg-n mit antiboieresc” (Ioan Vodk an anti-boyar myth). Elisabeta. and Vasile Luca. 47. Buna vestin?(8 November 1940). 72-102. Manh Mima Voievod @e great voivode Mircea)). Zoe.

Quite simply. stiu i 1991. Alexandru Marghiloman. note 61). Of these. Xenopol.rti.. Ion Antonescu. 1866-1947). did Tudor Arghezi.256 2. Anahh Univemh?$i Bucr/n. Scurtu. another statistical approach also seems legitimate. (The decoration received by the king is even reproduced on whole page!) a See also. All this does not give the dynastic system any additional historical chance. those who opted for the “other” solution included P. Ioan Bogdan. Canada. Nicolae Iorga. 5 volumes. Even more. At the end the reader is offered a statistical table showing the evolution of European political regimes from 1866 to the present day (21 monarchies and 2 republics in 1866. 7. Iosif Constantin. D.we cannot compare Albania with Sweden or Somalia with Japan. Grigore Antipa collaborated w t theGerman authorities. and certainly not of “traitod’ or even “indifferents”.1941-1944”. chapter six. Among writers. Drzgan. and as ih others. Curiously. P. Istoria mmtjnih Bucharest: Editura Europa Nova. but significantly. Monadiu in Romhia. a It is worth drawing attention here to the rich memorialistic literature-from which I limit myself to citing the exceptional epic of prison life published by Ion Ioanid under thetitle fnnchimma noastra‘ cea de toate @hh (Our daily prison). which is no more favorable to the institution of monarchy than the same author’s volume of 1988. however.whateveranyone maysay. whch was made evident on the occasion of t h i s visit. D. in this connection. and in the whole world. PItrZpmu. Euenimentd@hi (9 May 1995). Ecaterina Teodoroiu. and“The treachery of King Michael and his decoration by Stalin”. and New Zealand (monarchies). Horea. which it summarizes (see above. the cover features the faces of the twelve apostles of the Romanian people: Decebalus. Tudor Vladimirescu. Titu Maiorescu. BucharestEditura 3. 5. 1996. Among thepoliticians. the behavior of the others may be considered “reserved”. 1993. and Vasile Pirvan. Ioan. NOTES The confrontation. The implicit conclusion n is that monarchical regimes are falling outof fashion. Istorie (1993-1994): 79-89. Australia. and In fact balance the rather inclines towards the monarchical principle. 6. AlmanahlRomtjnia Man.. SimionMehedin$ was a minister intheMarghiloman government. Slavici published “pro-German” articles in the press during the occupation. Constantin Brincoveanu. Ioan Vodi the Terrible. Ioan Slavici and George Co~buc. Bucharest Editura Danubius. However. Among thechapter titlesare:“MarshalAntonescuandtheholywar. 118 republics and 44 monarchies). Grigore Ghica. 1991. only Iorga actively campaigned for entry intothe war Fenopol would have done the same but was prevented by illness). and VictorBabe9 incurred rebuke for a certain type of “accommodation”. 1866-1947 (Monarchy in Romania. the republican tradition. Nicolae Iorga. part ofthe Romanian elite had dgennt idea of the national interests. It is just that that is how the statistics are! Poll published in Evenimentul @hi (12 April 1996). Carp. and Nicolae CeauSescu. The only model of development today is represented by the Western world. the two great Transylvanian classics. and 11 monarchies and 22 republics in 1991. Dimitrie Onciul. D.the army fell to 76 percent and the Church to 83 percent.Among scientists. 9. between the royal myth andtheanti-monarchist countermyth isanalyzedbyMihaiComan in ‘%a Ritualisation de la visite du Roi Mihai Ier i l’occasion des Piques” (The ritualization of the visit of King Michael I on the occasion of Easter). Japan. Gala Galaction.In October1996. Vlad Tepeg.since. paradoxically did not join the struggle for political union. Michael the Brave. 4. the first pages of the book deal with. if we add the non-European states that are highly industrializedand have indisputably democratic regimes: United the States (republic). The gallery of great historians of the day consisted ofsix names: A. and Constantin Stere. And the western half of Europe is equally divided between republics monarchies. . As we can see it is not a matter of a limited and marginal group. Constantin Giurescu. 8.

16. there are no importantmodifications in later editions. Zoe.” Anahlk Univemita‘fii Bumn. Myths et Mytbolbges p0hXgue.206-325 (for 1918-1947) and 326-335 (for 1947-1989). Dumitru. ‘Ze mythe de Zalmoxis. Betea. Bucharest: EdituraUnivers. 12. an oral enquiry carried outwith perseverance by Lucia Hossu-Longin.ri mntemporana‘ (I’he history of the Romanians: The modern and contemporary period). and running to over fifty episodes. i Pedagogic. Girardet.d For a demythologizing analysis. 14. Generaiia imsita‘ (The squandered generation). 10th grade textbook. Silviu. See. 1997. Gheorghe Apostol. see Petre. 1995(inteviewswith IonGheorghe Maurer. 11. Mihai and Bogdan Teodorescu. Manea.. Bucharest Editura Expres. G. For more detail. 12th grade textbook. h a d : Funda$a Yoan Slavici”.NOTES 257 10. “Un mit GheorghiuDej?” (A Gheorghiu-Dei myth?). Fomana nolizmii mmine (The forming of the Romanian nation). 1992. Nicolae. in this connection. among which the outstanding document remains Memotialuf du&i (The memorial of pain). Bucharest: Casa de edituri gi libririe ‘Nicolae Biilcescu”. n. see Boia. D. 1991-19964nd numerous radio and television programs. Istoria m m i n i h Epoca modema‘ . 1995. Iscru. 13. Maunr . against the general background of Dacian mythology. Bucharest: Editura Univers-Calistrat Hogag. Lucian.. and later editions. et a Istorio univenalb’ mohmd . 1992. 1993. 1986. Muregan. 1991.rti. against the background of an ad hoc debatearound theissues offreedomof conscienceand church-state relations. There is eulogistic characterization in Popescu. the “two Frances” once again affirmed their mythological divergences. . Alexandru Birlideanu. Limba .ri lumea de hi Mmurii deqn stabnixma Rominiei (Maurer and theworld of yesterday: Testimoniesaboutthe Stalinization of Romania). Conclusion 1.s (Politicalmyths and mythologies). Miturih comunhmului mminesc. gi Pedagogic.ri ciopbtot.ri iitraturd mmina‘ (Romanianlanguage and literature). Bucharest: Editura Universitifii Bucuregti. on the other hand.173-182. Rqoul.ri contemporand (Modern and contemporary L world history). Coordinated by Nicolae I. Bucharest: Editura Didactic. and Paul Sfetcu). Istorie (1993-1994): 23-36. Two founding myths were set face to face: the conversion of Clovis at the end of the f f h it century (the Catholic version).Lavinia. Favorable opinions of Gheorgiu-Dej can also befound in Brucan. on the occasion of the visit to France of Pope John Paul 11. gi Pedagogici. Amfost . Under the direction of Lucian Boia. 1995. Vladimir. 12th grade textbook. Paris: Editions du Seuil. Bucharest: Editura Didactic. In 1996. see Tismineanu. and September 1792 and the proclamation of the republic and thebattle of Valmy (the lay version). Albatros. Fantoma h i Gheoqiu-Dej (??he ghost of Gheorghiu-De$. 15. For a succinctbut pertinent analysis of Corufs writing. Bucharest EdituraDidactic. C a d .h himen (was also a carver of I chimeras).

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1994.and on numerous contributions concerning the various aspects of the problem. Paris: Aibin Michel. a history of the imaginary). A number of essential points of references for the issue of foundation myths and of origins in general can be found in Mircea Eliade’s Aqects $14 mythe (Aspects of myth). reference the with to French case but with wider conceptual and methodological implications. 1998. For political myths. To a large extent the theoretical premises aremy own. For the imagnary of the nation. Paris: Maspero. 1981.by Christian Amalfi in Les Hims de I‘Histoin de France. mentioning only whicheffectively those were used in my argumentation. remarkable analysis of a set A of modem foundation myths is provided by EliseMarienstras in Les Myths fondatems de h nationumiiz’caine m e foundation myths of the American nation). 1963. P o w m e bhtoz’tt. Paris: Gallimard. and iconographicsources. Paris: Gallimard. 1994. Louvain-Paris: Peeters. They are synthesized in my forthcoming P o w ztnehistoire de I’imaginah. Essai de mytholagie nationale (On the art and manner of accommodating the heroes of French history: Essay in national mythology). Paris: Phot’oeil.Selected Bibliography The present work is based on a variety of historiographical. an indispensable source is the volume prepared under the direction of Marcel Dktienne: Trach defondation (Lines of foundation).1973)hasthegreatmerit of demolishing the myth of historical objectivity. Pans: L e s Belles . 1988. Lucian. 1979. Trans. The connections between history and ideology are analyzed. two fundamental works should be mentioned: Andrk Reszler’s Mytbespoh’tiqzdes modemes (Modern political myths). Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. an essential point of reference is Dominique Schnapper’s essay La commmatiti des doyens. and De I’art et la m m i h d’accommoder hs h i m de I’histoi~ de France. I shall not list them again here. all of these are mentioned in the text and in the notes. are which inseparable those from of history. m d Raoul ~~~ ~~ * Boia. For traditional societies.de I’imagz’mh (For Lettres. Recherche iconographiq~e le panthion scohire de h tmisiime R@ztbJque (The heroes of stir French history: Iconographic research on the school pantheon of the Third Republic). Szlr IYdie modeme de nation (Ihe community of citizens: On the modem idea of nation). but shall limit myself to works of a more general character.* Hayden White’s Metabistoy @e Johns Hopkins UniversityPress. 1990. literary.

Universitiitii Rucuregti. 1944reference remains Vlad Georgescu’s I977 (Politics and history: The case of the Romanian communists. A sm’e . For the origins of the Dacian myth. 1989. and the elimination of C.ri iston‘e. the key work of Poh’tici. Berkeley: University California Press. outstanding for the quality of their documentation and for their balanced interpretations. Katherine Verdery offers a pertinent analysis of the Romanian mythical pulsationsof the same period in National Tdeohgy under SociaLsm: Identip and Cultzcral PoLtics in Ceaufesot’s Romania. New ed. Iston’e . then termed “press a long series of modifications the to initial text direction”. Iagi: Editura Junimea. Sorin Antohi proposes an interesting exploration of various compartments of the socialimaginaryand of Romanianutopianconstructions of theIast two centuries.Bucharest: Editura UniversitifiiBucuregti.260 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Girardet’s Mytbw et Mytbohgies poL&pes (Political myths and mythologies). Bucharest: Editura Academiei. . Bucharest: Editura Minerva. However. Bucharest: Tipografia mm6ne (The I have taken a number of facts.ri a face iston’e (Writing and making history). historian). Bucharest: Humanitas. 1974. Jurzimea: iqbh’caiii istonbgraJice (Junimea: Historiographical implications). 1986. For the insufficiently still researched communist period. and the two volumes Mitun2 comunismuhi mmbne.De h istonk critic2 la m2iakm (From the critical school to criticism). Paris: Seuil. in Civitas imaginuks. “dissociation” from Onciul’s theory of ad migration. Scb@ h o iston’e a dacismztlhi m e Dacians in the consciousness of our romantics: Sketch for a history of Dacianism). Edition prepared by Radu Popa. Iqi: Editura Junimea.Bucharest: Editura Litera. 1994. The three volumes published under my direction and under the aegis of the Center for the History of the Imaginary in the History Faculty the University of of Bucharest-Mit14ti istorice mmhze. 1974.rti(Romanian historical myths).r&?n#a romalztia%r lzo. Vaxile Phvan: @gia c&tzcramhti (Vasile Pirvan: The image of the scholar).rti of (Myths of Romaniancommunism).rtn*. 1979-a demonstrationwhich isitselftosomeextent“contaminated” by the ambient Dacianism of the time. 19&1977). Bucharest: Editura Universitiitii Bucuregti. Giurescu’s argument regarding the capitulations). Iagi: Editura Junimea. C a p 1 comztni. characterizations this from work. see Ovidia Babu-Buznea’s Dan? Zn con.1976. 1985. ideas.ri istonii h z RomLnia hterl. 1991. 1991.ebc2 (”€istory historians interwar and in Romania). 1981. Iqi: Editura Junimea. of There is an attempt at a synthesis (up to 1944) in my own Evolzqia istoriograjei evolution of Romanian historiography). Among these I mention: Mibail Kogcilniceanu istoric (Mihail Kogilniceanu. and the differences between the two books are also due to the disruptive factors present in 1976: the awareness of a limit that could not be crossed (self-censorship) and actual censorship. 1976.rtihr romini. which imposed (including: the amplification of the chapter dealing with Marxist historiography. Iagi: Editura Junimea. 1995-1997-represent stages in the preparation of the present book. 1995. 1990. No historiographical reconstruction or analysis can do without the fundamental contributions of Alexandru Zub. my interpretations evolved have considerably in certain respects.

1970. Oxford: Clarendon Press.SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 261 An essentialwork on Romanianideology at thebeginning of the modem period (including aspects relating to historical consciousness) is Mad Georgescu’s Ideihp0Lh-e st’ ilziminism141 h Pnnnpateh ronzdne. Bucharest: Editura Minerva. Anit’ tnirec!. 3948. 1993. Bucharest: Editura Academiei. Bucharest.o f the models invoked in the process of modernizing Romanian society inmy article “Les Roumains et les Autres. Finally. Texts collected by Alexandru D u p and Norbert Dodille. seen especially from a of literaryperspective but insertedinto a broaderculturalframework. the minute researches of Zigu Ornea are notable and ever useful. earlier Sdm&z&orisnzzd (ShinStorism). and 1831-1848.r.1996. complemented by the documentary annexes Mimoires etpmjets de n$me dans hs pnizn)autis roumaines (Memoranda and projects of reform in the Romanian principalities). 17744866. Bucharest: Editum Fundaiiei Culturale Romine. 1970. there is a survey-which I have made use of in the present w o r k . E ~ w z a dnaptz romheasca‘ (rile 1930s: The Romanian extreme Right). I refer the reader eo the two volumes by Keith Hitchens. and Rzlnzania 78667747. 1972. Regarding the succession and interference ideologies. and from his recent work. La qucte des mod6les dans la societk roumaine des XIXGme et XX6me siitcles” Romanians the (I’he and Others: Thequestfor models in the Romanian society of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries). . 1994. Paris: L’Harmattan. 1750-1831). 7 750-7837 (Politicalideas and edightenment in the Romanian principalities. in the Institut Franpis de Bucarestcollection L’Etat des Lenx en sciences s0aaLe. Oxford: ClarendonPress. 1972. limit myself to citing. For a clear and balanced synthetic presentation of the various ideologies and models of development. 1995. 1769-1830. TheRomanians. Bucharest. from I among his contributions.

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ANTONESCU. and the recognition by the Patriarch of Constantinople of an independent metropolitan see of Moldavia. whose suzerainty he acknowledged.Glossary Compiled for the English versionby James Christian Brown Note on the pronunciation of the Romanian names: The vowels a. A participant in the revolution of 1848 in Moldavia and in the movement for the union of the principalities. he was appointed prime . A A . The consonants 1 and f are i pronounced like Englishsb and tx respectively. Theodor (1831-1891): painter. Ion resembles the Englishyon). The vowel 6 or t" resembles the i infill. he served Cuza'sgovernment as a diplomat and was laterMinisterPlenipotentiary in Paris from 1885 to 1890. i or e before another vowel sounds like English3 (e. o and zl should generally be pronounced approximately as in Italian. ALEXANDER the Good: prince of Moldavia 1400 to 1432. Treaty of (1829): treaty concluding the Russian-Turkish war of 1828 to 1829.g. Ion (1882-1946): genera9 (marshal from August 1941) and politician. a founding figure of modern Romanian M N visual art. the letters c and g are pronounced as English cb in cbzlrch and g in gem. In al other l cases (including cb and gb before e and z) they are pronounced as in the English coat and goat. and a' sounds like the a in abozlt. i. Having beenmarginalized by Carol 11. His reign saw consolidation of the Moldavian state. which is usually silent. with the exceptionof a find i. under its terms the Turkish right of intervention in Moldavia of the principalities was and Wallachia limited the was and autonomy increased. Adrianople (Edirne). When immediately followed by or e. based at Suceava. e. ALECSANDRI. Vasile(1818-90): one of the principal Romanian poets of the nineteenth century. a faithful ally of King Wladyslaw Jagiello of Poland. His works includea number of paintings on historical themes. in the meantime they remained under Russian military occupation and administration until 1834.

i n August 1944. Gheorghe (1788-1869): a leading promoter ofmodern education.Antonescuwas removed from power by a coupd’ktatled by the youngking. ASACHI. Antonescu established a dictatorial regime. he became a hero of the First World War. B h N U T I U . BALCESCU. shared leadership in the Iorga-Argetoianu government of 1931-32. under which he served briefly as prime minister in 1939. He was among the founders of the secret reformist societyFrii$a(“Thebrotherhood”) in 1843. Although these aims were achieved at first. the press. initially in collaboration with the Legionaries (whom he later suppressed). but actual German occupation was avoided. Romanian AVERESCU. After the failure of the revolution he continued to work exile in for collaboration among revolutionaries of different nations.He was a member of the provisional government set up in June 1848. he was interior minister inGeneralAverescu’s1920-1921government. Simion (1808-1864): a leading figure in the Romanian revolution of 1848 in Transylvania. and later supported the royal dictatorship of Carol 11. in which he ledthe Romanian army to victory at MiirQti in 1917. the course of thewar later turned appnst Romania. the suppression of the 1907 peasant uprising. and was subsequently sentenced to death by a communist court and executed.Michael. The influence of Nazi Germany was strong.theimperial border wasreestablished at the Danube.264 GLOSSARY minister in September 1940. In 1849he attempted unsuccessfully to negotiate a peaceful settlement betweenAvram Iancu and the Hungarian revolutionary government. In June 1941 he led the country into war against the Soviet Union in alliance with Germany. again in 1920-21 as leader of the People’s Party. in his capacity as war minister. and in 1926-27. seeking the liberation of Besarabia and northern Bukovina. and the theatre in Moldavia. Aurelian withdrawal: the withdrawal of Roman civil andmilitary organization from Dacia underEmperor Aurelianin271. Constantin (1871-1952): diplomat before the First World War and politician in the interwar period. ARGETOIANU. the king abdicated a fewdays later. and directing operations against Bulgaria in the second Balkan war of 1913. . Alexandru (1859-1938): general (later marshal) and politician. and played a leading role in the revolution of 1848 in Wallachia. After organizing.He was briefly primeminister in 1918.Nicolae (1819-1852):revolutionaryand historian. subsequently professor of public law and philosophy at the University of Iagi in Moldavia. His second term was marked by the introduction of the important land reform of 1921. active in various parties. He was imprisoned by the communists in 1950 and died in prison in 1952.

A member of a boyar family. BLAGA.and subsequently in the replacement of A.GLOSSARY 265 BASARAB I: prince of Wallachia c. BOLINTINEANU. Briitianu.largely of peasants.having ccdismounted7’ there after crossing the mountains from Maramureg to escape Hungarian rule. B a T I A N U . Gheorghe (1898-1953): liberal politician and historian. Transylvania. C. Cum as their ruler by Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (later King Carol I). (1821-1891): liberal politician. son of Ion I. according to which the character of the Romanian people is determined by its origins ina land of rolling hills and valleys. so establishing the core territory of the principality. the Paris peace conference. Perhaps the most widely known element of his thinking is the notion of the “Mioritic space”. He tried to strengthen the autonomy of the principality from the Turks. BOGDAN: prince of Moldaviainthe1360s. C. and creation of Greater Romania). BRiNCOVEANU. Brjltianu. B a T I A N U . and prime minister during much of the period 1908 to 1927 (including the years of the First World War.He defeated an invading Hungarian army the battle of Posada in at 1330. thus playing a key role in the war of independence and the proclamation of the kingdom. developing closer . Bobilna Uprising (1437): a rising. He died in a communist prison in 1953. he participated in the 1848revolutioninWallachiaandwas later a leading figureinthemovement to unite theprincipalities. Dimitrie (1825-1872): poet. 1310 to 1352. In 1627 he united launchedthe project of a “kingdom of Dacia”.regardedas the founder of the principality. Constantin: prince of Wallachia1688 to 1714. who unified the lands to the east andwest of the River Olt. His principal philosophical works consist of three trilogies.Ion C. the author of several volumes of historical legends in verse. but he gave up his claim in return for guarantees of liberty for Hungarian Protestants. I. Lucian (1895-1961): poet and philosopher. In 1875 he was one of the founders of the National Liberal Party. BRkr“T’ANU.whichwouldhave Transylvania and the Romanian principalities. in opposition to the Catholic emperor. of Knowledge. 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. leader of the National Liberal Party.inwestern fmally suppressed in 1438after fierce fighting. He served as prime minister almost continuously from 1876 to 1888. (1864-1927): son ofIon C. Gabriel (Bethlen Gjbor): prince of Transylvania 1613 to 1629. Ion I. Culture and Values. BETHLEN.

The style of architecture seen in his palaces and churches was revived as a national style at the endof the nineteenth century. on the other hand. CARAGIALE. andlaunched attacks on the RomanterritoriesintheBalkans.Dragogwas considered a traitor by Avram Iancu’s Romanians. leaving Romania apparently defeated and with considerable losses of territory. including a history of the Ottoman Empire and a description of Moldavia. Treaty of (May 1918): treaty ending hostilities between Romania and Germany. who negotiated with Avram Iancu on behalf of the Hungarian government. During the negotiations. and went into exile in Russia when their campaign ended in failure. Bulgaria and Turkey. was a supporter of the Hungarianrevolution and a member of the Parliament in Pest. close to Sinaia m d the royal palace of Peleg. BUTEANU. Buteanu was captured and killed in the course of a Hungarianassault.266 GLOSSARY links with the Habsburg Empire. Dimitrie (1673-1723): prince of Moldavia 1710 to 1711. BUCUR the Shepherd: the legendary founder of Bucharest. BUREBISTA: Getic ruler who united many of the Thracian tribes north of the Danube into a singlekingdominthe mid-first century BC. Ioan (1810-1849): Ioan Buteanu was one of the leaders of the Romanians fighting against Hungarian troops in the Apuseni mountains in 1848-49. Ciilugireni: battle. He joined Peter the Great in his war a p n s t the Turks. Ion Luca (1852-1912): writer and journalist. 1595. but he his and five sons were finally beheaded in Constantinople (having refused to convert to Islam in return for their lives). Although ratified by Parliament it was never signed by King Ferdinand. He is also noted for his support of the Orthodox Church and for the cultural achievements of his reign. his social comedies and prose sketches of life in late-nineteenth-century Romania are among the best-known classics of Romanian literature. which in Michael Brave the was victorious over an Ottoman force commanded by Sinan Pasha (though he was unable to follow up the victory. Unusual rock formations in the mountains have helled speculations on the wilder fringes of Dacianism that they were the center of a mysterious lost civilization Bucharest. the author of a number of scholarly works. and was forced to withdraw). Bucegi: mountain range in the southern Carpahians. who killed him in reprisal. . Ioan Dragog. CANTEMIR.Ioan (1821-1849) and DRAGOS. He wasfinallykilledin a rebellion around 40 BC and his kingdom divided. and the principality was subsequentlybrought under closer Turkish control through the Ph#anariot regime. Austria-Hungary. He is now considered a saint by the Romanian Orthodox Church. he later served Peter as a counselor.

as poetess. and the destructive effects of his policies became evident. CAROL I1 (1893-1953): king of Romania 1930 to 1940. however. Shortlyafter his arrival he promulgateda new constitution which affirmed the permanentunionof the based on that of Belgium. andwenton to become president of the Council of State in 1967. CEAUSESCU. In 1965 he was electedfirstsecretary of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party. he returned to claim the throne in 1930. CARP. I. principalities under the name of Romania and made no mention of foreign guarantors or Ottoman suzerainty. executed with herhusband in December 1989. and king 1881 to 1914. Britianu to accept the throne of the united principalities. and settled permanently there after the Second World War. In 1938 he established a corporatist dictatorship. replacing the political parties with his ownFront for National Rebirth. His sympathies i foreignaffairswere n pro-German. Karl of HohenzollernSigmaringenwaspersuaded by Ion C. repression increased. holder of various academictitles. Cuza in 1866. Nicolae (1918-1989): communist leader. As a communist activist in the 1930shewastwiceimprisoned. following humiliating the loss of Romanian territory earlierin the year. Elena (1919-1989): wife of Nicolae CeauSescu. Having renounced his right to the succession and gone into exile in 1925. As crown prince was he notorious for his scandalous private life. He obtained a scholarship to study in France in 1937. He gained in popularity by his role at the head of the army in the war of independence of 1877-78. turning the office into a personal dictatorship.muchpreoccupiedwid1themes of alienation and despair. He laterheldvariousofficesin the postwarcommunist regime. 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. as a result of which Romania was internationally recognized as an independent kingdom in 1881. He was overthrown in December 1989 and' executed after a summary trial. and he was over theinvasion of admired abroad for hisdefiance of theSovietUnion Czechoslovakia in 1968. Initially his rule brought a period of relative liberalization within Romania. noneof whichsheseemstohavehad any entitlement to. with and in andto seek Romania's entry into the First World Waron their sidein 1914.of Queen Elizabeth. He wrote . CIORAN. CAROL I (1839-1914): prince of united Romania 1866 to 1881. CEAUSESCU. He was forced abdicate to in September 1940. Petre (1837-1919): conservative politician and a founder of the Junimea group. son of Ferdinand I. Emil(1911-1995):philosopher. and the first president of Romania in 1974. In the 1970s and 1980s. leadinghim to sign a secret alliance Ge.GLOSSARY 267 CARMEN SYLVA: pen name.rmany Austria-Hungary 1883. Following the abdication of A.

and he was killed by rebellious boyars. 1962. writer and politician. Alexandru Ioan (1820-1873): first ruler of the united provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia1859to1866. poets. DELAVRANCEA. Corneliu Zelea (1899-1938): founder of the Legionary Movement.and French stylists. is considered oneof thegreattwentieth-century CODREANU. DESPOT Vod5: prince of Moldavia 1561 to 1563. He was forced to abdicate in 1866. and declared religioustoleration inMoldavia. His story Ivan Tzubinc~i tells of a Russian soldier who terrorizes the devil and tricks Death.268 GLOSSARY thereafter in French. close his in thinking to the LegionaryMovement. Ion (1837-1889): writer. and cultural DESPINA: wife of NeagoeBasarab. Cucuteni culture: a culture of the Neolithic period. The heavytaxationrequired to financehis project of an anti-Ottoman crusade provoked discontent.Havingbeenelectedprincein both principalities. which was founded in 1921 as a result of the secession of the extreme Left from the Socialist Party. which from 1862 was commonly referred to as Romania. who takes revenge on him by allowing him to live for ever. he worked to integrate them administratively into a single state. named after a site in Moldavia dated to the centuries around 3. Nichifor (1889-1972): poet of Orthodox religiousinspiration and editor of the journal Gina’irea (The thought). CUZA. Barbu StefYanescu (1858-1918): renowned for his oratory. He was imprisoned in 1938 and assassinated the orders of King Carol 11. rural themes. Gheorghe: the first general secretary (1921-1924) of the Communist Party of Romania. DECEBALUS: ruler of the Dacians 87 to 106 AD. CREANGA. CRAINIC. best known for his literary folktales and childhood reminiscences. He committedsuicideafterthefinal Dacian defeat at Sarmizegetusa. and adversary of the Roman emperor Trajan in two wars. on COSBUC. He was Lutheran. His reforms included theemancipation of thepeasantry and majorland redistribution. George (1866-1918): one of the known best Romanian associated particularly with traditionalist.000 BC. who shared inhisreligious activities. CRISTESCU. . He was imprisoned by the communists from 1947 to . one of the founding fathers of Romanian prose.

Bogdan. nephew of Carol I.945. Generally regarded commemorated by countless statues. and settled in Paris in 1. DROMICHETES: head of a Getic kingdom north of the Danube around 300 BC. ELIADE. His descendants were later ousted by Bogdan. Mihai (1850-1889): poet and journalist.He subsequently moved to the U. EMINESCU. DRAGOS (fl.and Negru VodZ). socialist leader and DOJA. leader of an army raised in Transylvania to fight the Turks. author of a history of Rome from its foundation. In his youth he was sympathetic to the ideals of the Legionary movement. He was finally defeated at Timigoara.GLOSSARY 269 Dismounting (De. Ioan (1810-1849): see BUTEANU. assassinated in the same year by a group of Legionaries.S. of DUCA. FERDINAND I (1865-1927): king of Romania 1914 to 1927. DRAGOS. busts etc. Mircea (1907-1986): writer and historian of religions. his poetry is characterized by a late romantic air of melancholy and a rich musicality language. ELIZABETH. throughout the country. 1843-1916): wife of King Carol I. a member of the Junimea as the national poet of Romania. Ioan. He served as Romanian CulturalAttach6in London and later Lisbon during the Second World War. He and Queen Marie were crowned as sovereigns of Greater Romania in Alba Iulia in 1922. mid-fourteenth century): voivode from Maramureg who was granted territory in northern Moldavia by the king of Hungary. which turned into a peasant rebellion against landlord abuseswhentheplannedcrusadewas suspended. (1879-1933): liberal politician. . and brutally executed. he is group. Ion G. and literary critic. Gheorghe (D6zsa Gyorgy.rcZhca4: the term used in the traditional history of Moldavia and Wallachia for the founding event of the arrival of princes from Maramureg or Transylvania (Dragog. and hasbecomeasymbolicrepresentative of Romanianculture.. Queen (Elizabeth of Wied. and from 1957 was Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago. 1470-1514): Szekler noble. also known as a poetess under the pen name Carmen Sylva.A. Constantin (1855-1920): ideologist. As wellas his concern with the national pastand present. who resisted attacksby the Macedonian ruler Thrace. of EUTROPIUS: fourth-century historian. prime minister in 1933. DOBROGEANU-GHEREA. Lysimachus.

followed by Bukovina (in November). it was dismembered in 1940 by the annexation of northern Transylviia toHungary. and Crigana. a . (1871-1919): socialist leader. and MENUMORUT: voivodes in western Transylvania. Transylvania. He wasprimeministeruntil1952. . Greater Romania: the Romanian state at its largest extent. and southern Dobrogea to Bulgaria.imprisonedinthe1930sforhiscommunistactivities. GELU. Stefan (1879-1914): socialist leader. 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. only northern Transylvania was restored to Romania after the Second World War. GHEORGHIU-DEJ. GHICA. and of Wallachia 1768 1769. GROZA. FRIMU. Of these. in 1918. united with Romaniaby the decision of a great assembly gathered in Alba Iulia on 1 December 1918 (confirmedby the Treaty of Trianon in 1920). of territories previously under foreign rule. Stefm: general secretary of the Communist Party of Romania 1940 to 1944.and was put to death by the Turks as a consequence Great Union: the union with Romania. I. GLAD. leader of the Ploughmen’s Front. Gheorghe (1901-1965): communist leader.the ordersof Gheorghiu-Dej and the other leaders of the Party in 1944. to He protestedagainsttheAustrianannexation of Bukovina in 1775. Grivitsa: fortification captured by the Romanian army in thecourse of the siege of the Turkish stronghold of Pleven in 1877.hebecame general secretary of the Communist Party of Romania in 1945 and was instrumental in gaining control of the government for the communists. the Banat. A railway worker. Grivip strike: 1933 strike of workers at the GriviJa railway workshops in Bucharest. later considered a key moment in the history of the communist movement. Finally. Grigore 111: prince of Moldavia 1764 to 1767 and 1774 to 1777. Created by the Great Union of 1918. thus creating Greater Romania. satellite party of the communist movement. Having eliminated his rivals. In May 1945 he formed the first government dominated by communists. assassinatedon . during the warof independence. Bessarabia was the first to unite (in March). C.270 GLOSSARY FORIS. northern Bukovina and Bessarabia to the Soviet Union.Petru (1884-1958): politician. in the period 1918 to 1940. Crigana and Maramureg. he was sole head the Communist Party from 1952 until of his death. along with the formerly Hungarian territories of the Banat. GHEORGHIU.

of HELIADE m U L E S C U .Asan (also known as Peter and Ivan Asen). CLOSCA. IANCU. Iancu withdrew live among the mountain peasants. After initially gaming control of large areas of western Transylvania. His son. He was the younger brother of its founders Petru and .c (T’he Romanian courier) in 1829. As a to unite result of the Hungarian revolutionary government’s decision TransylvaniaHungary its to and refusalaccept to the demands of the Transylvanian Romanians. In 1 4 4 3 4 heled a massive and partiallysuccessful campaign a p n s t the Turks the in Balkans.GLOSSARY 271 From 1952 to 1958 he was president of the Presidium of the Great National Assembly (the collective presidency the Romanian People’s Republic). IORGA. Horea and Clogca werebrutallyexecutedin1785. IONI’J’A (IGloyan): ruler of the second Bulgarian tsardom. linguist. Peace was finally reached in 1849. promoter of an existentialist philosophy which stressed “personal influence on the Romanian young experience”. Avram Iancu led an army of Romanian peasants a p n s t the Hungarians in the Apuseni mountains. As a politician before and . who suppressed IONESCU. thanks to the mediation of Nicolae Bilcescu. agdnst oppression by the nobility. and an exceptionally prolific writer historical books and articles. Nae (1890-1940): philosopher. who rose to becomeprince of Transylvaniain1441. 1197 to 1207. HOREA. Mircea Eliade and Mircea Vulcinescu. Avram (1824-1872): revolutionary leader in Transylvania in 1848.He died in 1456 shortly after inflicting a defeat on the Turks at Belgrade. Ion (1802-1872): writer. IANCU of Hunedoara (Hunyadi J k o s or John Hunyadi. Chimd R0mLne. Nicolae (1871-1940): historian. From 1446 1453 to he was governor of Hungary during the minority of Liiszl6 V. c. professor at the University of Bucharest. 1407-1456): Hungarian nobleman of Romaniandescent. founder of the first Romanian newspaper. Matthias Corvinus. a participant in the revolution of 1848 in Wallachia. and CRISAN: leaders of the peasant uprising of 1784 i n Transylvania. later became king Hungary. the rising was suppressed by imperial an army. rebellions on the part of the Moldavian boyars. and was later sympathetic to the Legionary Movement. a key figure of in the development of Romanian historiography. He was a formative intellectuals of the interwar period.Crigatl committed suicide in prison. but the Hungarian to revolution was suppressed by Russian forces shortly after. professor at the University of Bucharest. He supported Carol I1 at first. of ’ IOAN VodQ theTerrible:prince of Moldavia1572to1574. and politician. and a promoter of Western influence in Romanian culture. being among his disciples.

as leader of the National Peasant Party. He was assassinated by the Legionaries in 1940. leading figure in the Junimea movement.initiallyknown Guard.272 GLOSSARY during the First World War he militated for the Romanian national idea. Gheorghe (1779-1823): scholar and educationalist. In of themembers of the June 1848sheplayed a leadingrole intherelease Provisional Government. The Archangel Michael founded Corneliu was by as the Iron movement was constituted as a politicalparty.a consistent opponentof thedictatorial regimesestablishedinRomaniafrom1938onwards. He laterserved as a reformingminister inRussia and as Russian ambassador to Paris. Having been arrested after the communist takeover. It was finally suppressed after a rebellion in 1941. She returned to Romania with him in . The Legion of the 2.BeforetheFirstWorldWar he was a campaigner for Romanian rights in Transylvania and served as a member of the Budapest Parliament from 1906. LUPESCU. MAIORESCU. despite the general disapproval of the Romanian political class.chargedwith the administration of Wallachia and Moldavia from 1829 to 1834 (after the Treaty of Adrianople). he was prime minister of Romania three times between1928 and 1933. Elena: mistress of Carol 11. KOGkLNICEANU. nationalist and anti-Semitic. KISELEFF (ICiselyov). Mihail(1817-1891): historian. . head of the Saint Sava School in Bucharest. Pave1 Dmitriyevich:Russiangeneral. Iuliu (1873-1953):politician. an active participant in the Revolution of 1848 and advocate of the union of Moldavia and Wallachia. revolution. L A Z h . he died in prison in 1953. He became prime minister in 1931-32. Codreanu in 1927. Legionary Movement: political movement of the extreme Right. Ana (1805-1875): heroine of the 1848 revolution inWallachia. with a strong element of Orthodox mysticism. Repressed by the Carolist regime i 1938-39. prime minister 1912 to 1914. a MANIU. 1930. prime minister of the United Principalities 1863 to 1865. IPATESCU. it came to power n with Ion Antonescu in 1940. He played an important role in the events leading to the union of Transylvania with Romania in 1918. He was . Titu (1840-1917): literary critic conservative and politician. founder of Romanian-language education in Wallachia. and was president of the interim governing council there from 1918 to 1920. Their relationship was the cause of his exclusion from the succession in 1925. who had arrested been by opponents of the . in 1930. Later.

he was appointed prime minister i n the spring of 1918.GLOSSARY 273 Mjriigegti:battleinAugust1917inwhich a massive German advance on the Moldavian front was halted by the Romanians. who hadlikewiserebelled. after fourteen days of fighting. called for Michael’s removal. In 1600 he invaded Moldavia and ousted Ieremia MovilQ. he regained autonomy by an alliance with Emperor Rudolf I1 in 1598. Queen (Marie of Edinburgh. under Eremia Grigorescu. Having been one of the advocates of friendship with Germany. but wasagainrefusedentry ended with the changeof government in 1996. he joined the campaign of the Holy League of European powers against the Ottoman Empire. his reign saw development the of printing in Wallachia and the introduction of the Romanian language in the Church. MICHAEL I (b. and undertook to renew the payment of tribute to the Turks. Although Michael had been forced to accept Transylvanian suzerainty as the price of Bithory’s support. Alexandru (1854-1925): conservative politician. MATE1 Basarab: prince of Wallachia 1632 to 1654. After the fall of communism he was initiallyrefusedpermissionto enter the country. agdlnst Turlush suzerainty in 1594. She influenced Romania’s entryinto the First World War the side of Britain and on France. whose Polish allies favored peace with ’ . and briefly also of Transylvania Moldavia Rebelling and in 1600. Miirii$ti: battle in July 1917. When the new prince of Transylvania. MATTHIAS Corvinus: king of Hungary to 1458 1490. This obstruction Easter 1992. in which a Romania1 army commanded by General Averescu successllly pushed back the forces o f the Central Powers. He is renowned for his military and diplomatic achievements and as a patron of the arts. when Romania was forced to sue for a peace settlement with the Central Powers. son Iancu of of Hunedoara. he finally drove the Turks out of Wallachia with theaid of Sigismond Bithory of Transylvania. 1921): king of Romania to 1927 1930 and 1940 to 1947 (interrupted by the return of his fatller Carol I1 in 1930). Having attempted to resist the communist takeover he was finally forced to abdicate in 1947 and went into exile. He wasallowed to visit at two years later. After being forced to withdraw after his victory at C3ug5reni in 1595. MICHAEL the Brave (1558-1601): prince of Wallachia 1593 to 1601. by which the Antonescu regime was overthrown and Romania switched its allegiance from the Axis to the Allied side. MARIE. MARGHILOMAN. He played a central role in the coup d’6tat of August 1944. 1875-1938): wife of King Ferdinand I. Michael invaded Transylvania in 1599 and took control of the principality. renewed the claim of suzerainty over Wallachia. Andreas Bithory.

where he is said to have “dismounted’’ the inthirteenth late century. whom he had a profound influence. and went on to set his brother Simion Movilg on the throne of Wallachia.1946): a leading international tennis player in the 1970s. to the mountain resort of Piltinig. Bithory was defeated. leavingthem under Turkish suzerainty with the European powers as guarantors. theHabsburg general Giorgio Basta took advantage of a noble revolt against Michael in Transylvania in 1600 to regain control of the principality for the emperor. The southern part of Bessarabia (annexed by Russia in 1812) was restored to Moldavia. Congress of (1856): Congress leadingto the treaty which ended the Crimean War. Meanwhile. By the end of 1600 Michael had lost all threeterritoriesandwasobligedtoregainthe support of Rudolf 11.) NKSTASE.274 GLOSSARY the Turks. . i n 1975. The final ended Russian treaty the protectorateWallachia in and Moldavia. thus beginning the process which was to lead to the union the principalities in 1859. and author of the Slavonic work The Teachings of Neagoe Basarabto his son Teodosie. After being imprisoned from 1958 to 1964 he worked as a researcher in Bucharest. NEAGOE Basarab: prince of Wallachia 1512 to 1521. restoring Ieremia Movilii to the throne. of MIRCEA the Old (ortheGreat):prince of Wallachia1386to1418. (His epithet “the Old” actually has nothing to do with his age: he was referred to in this by later chroniclers to way distinguish him from more recent rulersof the same name. Rudolf supported Michael’s invasion of the principality. Polish forces invaded Moldavia. of . As a result of the deliberations of the Congress. he participated King in Sigismund of Hungary’s unsuccessful crusade which ended at the battle of Nicopolis in 1396. near Sibiu. Ilie @. After defeating the Turks in his own territory at Rovine in 1394. coming from Transylvania. However. on Paris. He briefly succeeded in getting imperial recognition as prince of all three territories.withthe incorporation of Dobrogea. Constantin (1909-1987): philosopher. before moving. 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.in whose reigntheprincipalityreacheditsgreatestextent. NEGRU VODA (Radu Negru): legendary founder of Wallachia.but Michael was assassinated at Basta’s instigation before he could take advantage this new opportunity. NOICA. this time in collaboration with Basta. There he continued to be visited by younger Romanian intellectuals. it was decided that futureconstitutionalarrangementsinWallachia and Moldavia should decided by an ad-hoc assembly in each principality. When Sigismond Bithory returnedpowerTransylvania to in in 1601. the founder of the famous church at Curtea de Argeg.

She played an important role in the early years of the communist regime. them came from the Phanar district.a Greek areaof Constantinople. representative of the Muscovite wing of the Party. in the change of regime in August 1944. ROLAND Borsa: princeof Transylvania threetimes between 1282 and 1293 . Quadrilateral: the southern part of Dobrogea. Ferenc I1 (1676-1735): Hungarian nobleman. of Jewish origin. LucreGu (1900-1954): communist leader. and was foreign minister from 1947 to 1952.Rt?glementOtgam'pe: constitution adopted in Wallachia (1831) and Moldavia (1832) under the Russian protectorate of 1829 to 1834 and subsequently ratified by the Turkish government. He waselectedprince of Transylvaniain1704 and continued his anti-Austrian campaign there. built as a summer palace for King Carol I and Queen Elizabeth between 1875 and 1914. ' PETRU Schiopd (the Lame): prince of Moldavia three times between 1574 1591. As a promoter of a more national and less authoritarian versionof communism. annexed by Romania in 1913 after the second Balkan war. Peleg: castle. PAUKER. and for the setting up of legdative assemblies dominated by the boyar class. a leaderof resistance to Habsburg dominance. he was arrested in 1948 and executed in 1954. PETRU Rareg: prince of Moldavia 1527 to 1538 and 1541 to 1546.GLOSSARY 275 PATRQCANU. It provided for the election of princes from among the local aristocracy. finally settling in Turkey. In 1952 shewas removed from dl positions of power by Gheorghiu-Dej. . an illegitimate son of Stephen the Great. and returned to Bulgaria in 1940. RADU Negru (see NEGRU VODA) R k O C Z I . as Communist Party representative. and Phanariots: the mme given to a series of Greek princes of Wallachia and Moldavia so called because many of in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Much of the famous external mural painting of the northern Moldavian monasteries dates from his reign. and was minister of justice from 1944 to 1948. Ana (1893-1960): communist leader. after Habsburg rule in Hungary and Transylvania was established by the Treaty of Szatmir (1711) he went into exile. one of the few intellectuals in the leadershipof the Communist Party. mainly in German style. outside the mountain resort of Sinaia in the southern Carpathiam PETRU Aron: prince of Moldavia three times between 1451and 1457. He played an important role. He played an active part in the struggle between J h o s Zipolyai and Ferdinand of Habsburg for control of Transylvania.

and anactive collaborator in the postwar communist takeover. known best Romhiei” (Song of Romania). He was finance minister in 1917-18 and 1920-21. Securitate: political policeof the communist regime from 1948 until the revolution of 1989.StephendefeatedMehmet II’s army at thebattle of Vaslui. and servedas one of the principal basesof his power. It was abolished in 1948 and replaced by the Securitate. Aecu (1819-1859): Moldavian writer. traditionally seen as a great victory of Mircea the n Old over the superior forces of the Turkish sultan BayazidI. Nicolae (1882-1941): politician and diplomat. but he received help little from other European rulers. Mihail (1880-1961): one of the best-known Romanian novelists. Ecaterina (1894-1917): heroine of the First World War. After taking part in the defense of Tirgu Jiu in 1916. Stephen was named the “athlete Christ” by Pope Sixtus IV for his of resistance to Ottoman expansion. the Turks were forced to withdraw. It was replaced in 1990 by the Romanian Information Service (SRI). On reachinghismajorityheremovedArborefromhisprivileged position and subsequently had him executed. and foreign minister in 1927-28 and 1932- . she became an officer in the Romanian army and was killed in battle the following year.initially as a minor. Ceaugescu Under it permeated Romanian society through an extensive network of informers. for hisccCintarea SADOVEANU. Stephen is now regarded as a saint 1 by the Romanian Orthodox Church. son of Ivan 1 1 of Muscovy. STEPHEN the Great: prince of Moldavia 1457 to 1504. In 1475 the Turks invaded Moldavia. that part of the police responsible for observing and combating actions directed against the safety of the public and the state.His daughter Elena married Ivan. the capital of Decebalus’s kingdom and the siteof his final battle with the Roman invaders. and so further weakened Vlad’s then precarious position. and finally agreedto pay tribute to the Turks as the price of Moldavian independence.276 GLOSSARY Rovine: battle fought i 1394.and. TEODOROIU. RUSSO. ostensibly to prevent it falling into Turkish hands. STEFANITA: prince of Moldavia1517to1527. Sarmizegetusa:DaciancitadelinsouthwesternTransylvania(nearthe town of Origtie). He withstood a further Turkish invasion in 1484. the prominent boyar Luca Arbore.withreal power being in the hands of his tutor. in 1483. but at the cost of the ports of Chilia and CetateaAlbi. TITULESCU. in 1462 he laid siege to the Wallachian port of Chilia. despite a subsequent Turkish victory at Rizboieni. Siguran@ under the law of 1929 concerning the organization of the Romanian police. Although he was initially an ally of VadTepeg of Wallachia.

a disciple of Nae Ionescu. 1780-1821): leader of a revolutionary movement in Wallachia. He invaded Wallachia several times.but was quickly killed. and followed by the administrative integration the principalitiesduring his reign. provoking a retaliatory invasion in 1462. who had him executed. From 1920 to 1936 he represented Romania at the League of Nations. hence the name “Dracula” by whichhe is bestknownoutsideRomania.1740-1797): author of naike verses. or the Devil): prince of Wallachia 1436 to 1442 and 1443 to 1447. I. He Union of the Principalities: the union Wallachia and Moldavia in 1859.anEtairistforce under AlexanderYpsilantisarrived from Moldavia. and again briefly in 1476. A.Meanwhile. VLAD Tepe? (the Impaler): prince of Wallachia. and economist. seeking to gain control of it by placing his son on the throne in the placeof.Matei Basarab. by VLADIMIRESCU. settled to France in 1936. later sometimes used of the kings of Romania. but he was forced to withdraw into Transylvania. leaving Wallachia under Turkish control. sociologist. a precursor of the modern Romanian poetry which emerged in the nineteenth century. in both territories. His nickname comes from the Order of the Dragon. He was the son of Vlad Dracul. After along period of captivity in Hungary he returned to his throne in 1476. briefly in 1448. He rebelled againstTurkishsuzeraintyandattackedtheTurkishterritories south of the Danube. of V k h E S C U . Mircea (1904-1952): philosopher. in alliance with the Etairist movement in Greece.GLOSSARY 277 36. Cuza. achieved of through the election of the same prince. then from 1456 to 1462. probably resentful boyars.He died in a communist prison in 1952. 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 TirgoviSte. . and he was presidentof the League in 1930 and 1931. Tudor (c. He was initially an ally of Iancu of Hunedoara in his wars against the Turks. with which he was invested by Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg. In 1821 he raised a peasant army in Oltenia and took effective control of the government of Wallachia. ledby Mehmet I1 in person. Vodii: title given to the princes of Wallachia and Moldavia. Tudor’s continuing negotiations with theTurks and refusal to help the Etairists earned the hostilityof Ypsilantis.WhenaTurkisharmyenteredWallachiatorestore order. Ienichi@ (c. but Iancu turned later a p n s t him and supported the boyar rebellion which led to mad’s assassination in 1447. VASILE (the Eupu Wolf): prince of Moldavia to 16341653. VLAD Dracul (the Dragon. He served as an undersecretary of state in the Finance Ministry in Antonescu’s government. VULChESCU.

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255. 73 .245.55. Florian. Daniel.264 Asan. 76 Andrew. 4748. Constantin. 178. 122.133. Cesare.255-256. 21 1 Boutmy. Nicolae. fictional character. Georges. Paul. IO^. 233 Biidescu.194.247 BethIen.59. 41 Bismarck. 137. 251. 57 Bogdan.88. sultan.212 Arbure. 197-198. fie. 141.9142. $tefan. 263 Alexander I. Gheorghe. 105.117. Honor6 de. Giorgio.219-225. 124 Antipa.207. ruler Wallachia.216.248 Bodea.116.146-148. 124.220.243. Vasile.Index Alecsandri.56 Blaga. 223 Aman. Theodor. Marc. Grigore.11 Anghel.222 Bogdan Dragog.248.263 of Alexandru Liipqneanu. 243. prince Transylvania. 139 hdrei. ruler Moldavia. 84 of Bibescu.241 Birbulescu-Dacu.271 Augustus.250 Bogdan I.212.265 Bloch. Alexandru. Marin.158.192-193. 195 Anne of Austria. Roman emperor. Sigismond. of 222. 114. 254 Antonescu. ruler of Moldavia.87.246 Borgia. Dimitrie.8.250.254. Cezar. 96 Apollodorus of Damascus.200.248 Basarab family. Dumitru.111. Petre. Ioan. 144 Brancovici.264 BBrzu. queen of France.274 Bithory. Gabriel. 193 Alma?.253-254 Bojinc5. 36. 103 Aaron.264 Armand. 80 Bilcescu.49-50. Dumitm. 264.273-274 Bayazid.253 Balzac.41-46.222 Basta. 210-21 1.59.192. Gheorghe.265 Bianu. Damaschin. 264. Ion. Cornelia. Emile.141. 65.265 Bolliac. 24. ruler Moldavia.40 Bolintineanu. 178. 99.196 Argetoianu.229. 245 Anonymus.214” 217. tsar of Russia. 98 Biirnutiu.209.276 Berciu. 178. 195.263 Antonescu. 199 BorilSi. Ligia. Petre. 107.271 Barbu.253. 172 Boulanger. founder of the “RomanianBulgarian kingdom”.192. 89 Averescu. 193 Andreescu.257. Saint.273 Azarie. 84. 94. Otto von. Sava. Teohari. Simion. princeof Transylvania. of 129. 17.130-131. 40 Asachi. Lucian. Louis. 159 Alexander the Good.

219. ruler of Wallachia.163.. Emmanuel.3930. 193.247.257 Brutus.85 Cantacuzino. 54.220.207 Chivu. Comeliu Zelea e ( % Captain"). 138.224.Pavel. 71 Copoiu. 79. Alexandru. king of Romania.268 Crigan.206 207.267 Briitianu.203.184. 203.248 Const'mtinescu.212. Pavel. Gheorghe I. 186.215.228- 247.272 Codreanu. 84 Cantemir.200-208. Ioan Alexandru. Barbu.125.212. 206. fictional character. 251.224. 104 229. 186.245.246-248.77.252 Cmtacuzino.230. 217 Churchill. ruler of Wallachia. 204. (Ionel). 214. 176 Buteanu. 217.255.74. 212. 147.125. Clogca. Nikolay Gavrilovich. $erban.197-198.267 CarrGre.257 Costin. 31. 180.254. 251. George Villiers.245. 45.252 Ceaugescu.248-249. 228 Coruf. Miron.186. 64. 105.251.190. Gheorghe. 212-214.256. Constantin.254 Carmen Sylva:see Elizabeth Carol I.214.268 Creangj.280 INDEX Bratu.68.95.208-209. 79 Coposu. 21 9 Chesarie of Rimnic.146147.75. IonIC.254 Crainic. 84.190.268 Cristescu. 183-184.244. 193 Bucur the Shepherd.136. Stratford.221-222. 235.266. king of Romania.81.163.66. Ion C. Gheorghe.203. Ilie.269 Camus. Ion. 98i 99. fictional character.106-107 Cioran.265 Briitianu. 58.243 Catargiu.101.267 Claniiu. Emil.271 Crigan. 104-105.85.139. 175-176.247.272 Constantine the Great.246.219-226.265 Brucan.235-236 Cemiitescu.271-273 Carp. Petru.110.127. Nicolae.434. 86 Burebista. Aron.267 Ceaugescu.227 Cihac.46. 84 Cons tan tinescu.235-236.162.256. Duke of.265. Ioan. 222.250 Chpeanu.253-254.203. 104-105.266 CardaS.212-213. 78-79. 172. 237 Constantinescu. 104. Ion Luca. Gheorghe. Mititi.242 Cogbuc. 98. 161 Cantacuzino.228 Briitianu. 52-53 Chdcocondylas.33.150-151. PetreP. 142 Canning.246. Ion Horafiu.180. Elena.269. 253-254.252 Cassiodorus.150. 216-217. Corneliu. 193. Dimitrie.242 Cihescu.219. Renaud. 221-222.204205.214-215. Gheorghe.275 Carol 11.221. Miron. 118. 199 Chemyshevsky.243. Ioan.207. Petre.205-207.175.212. 74. Wmston. LascZr.139.212. Budai-Deleanu.229.189. 85.266 Bush.. 194.110. Catargiu.221-222.268. ruler of Moldavia. 157.177. 84 Buckingham.90. 76 Constantinescu-Iagi.212.247 BrZtianu family.266 Caragiale. 84 Chiajna. Nichifor.. Nicolae.267.265. 38 Ceaugescu.265 Brincoveanu.121.193.167-168. king of Dacia.103.177-178. Roman emperor. 255 . Stoica.255. Emil.225. 4748 Clara.46. 32. Stefan.216. 268 Cotrug. 141.156.170. 216 Cazimir. Traian.256. Petre. 209. Constantin. 17. George. 17-18.161. Silviu.205206. 76 Briitescu-Voinegt. Ion.

Grigore.242-243.219. 221 Galaction.218.255. 158.222. Gheorghe.199.269 Driigan.221. Nicolae.200 Engels.269. 215 Duruy. Lucien. Cum.154.256. 124.185186. Pompiliu. queenof Romania.213-214.178. ruler of Moldavia. 203.16146. Mihai. 236. 40.277 Dragomir.270 Fotino. 217. Alexandru Ioan.189. 266. 118. 215. 94-96. 76 Dobrogeanu-Gherea. 52 of Elena. Friederich. 105. 105-106. 257.244.217 Gheorghiu.248 Despina.84. 162 Girardet. 263.59.214. 86 FouillC.221.259. 47 of Ghica. 21. Mircea.269. 4 Frimu. 252. 267. 215. 206. Gala.58. fictional character. Silviu. 223 Engel.268 Dionisie the Ecclesiarch.65.275 Eminescu. 207 Daicoviciu. Dreyfus.191.47.269 Evdochia of Kiev.200-203. Constantin. 144 Francus. Dem.246247. 192.116. Constantin.101. 64 Dragog.269 Dumitrescu. Alfred. 201 Freud.173.203 Dragog. Ovid. Geticking. Elena.. Gyorgy: see Doja.251 Elizabeth (Carmen Sylva).195. Sigmund.207-208. of Prussia. Teohari.192. 55. 73 king Frederick of Zollern. 23. Aleksandr. Constantin.268 Despot Vodi. 56 Gelu. Ioan.246 Densugianu. 214.257.242 Dobrescu. Fadeyev.273 Filipescu. 202.102-103. 137. Stefan.269. 215 ' 250-251. Johann Chris tian.89. 270 Gheorgiu-Dej.246. Grigore111. 233 Davila.248-249 Dante Alighieri.277 Cum.256 Garibaldi. Gheorghe. king of Dacia.271 Eliade. Vktor. 217. 76 Forig. h o d . 195.C. 84 Frederick the Great.88.5.270 Ghica. 270 Georgescu.92.269 Doja..172 Dromichetes. 217.270 Frontinus. Stefan.90. Dumitru.201. 83.221-222. 219 Febvre. Ion G. 98-99.193.150. I. 7. 235. 97-98. Alexandru. Grigore IVY rulerMoldavia.250-251.233 Eutropius. daughter Stephen the Great. Lady. 215 .206-207.218. 47. Transylvanian voivode.241. Ion.INDEX 281 Eliade. 163. 221-222.268 Densugianu.105-106.222-223. Sextus Iulius. fictional character.254.92.203. Iosif Constantin. 71. 193 Decebalus. 74.244. Alfred. 146.254. Giuseppe. 17-18.276 Delavrancea.252.172.. 34 Ferdinand I. Barbu Stefanescu.269 Ene.163. Martin. 12 Ghica.179. 209. 161. 212-213. 32.250.217. king of Romania.267-268.224-226.109. 192193.222. 44. Dionisie.237.269 Dbzsa.229. Gheorghe.256 Driighicescu. Gheorghe Dracula.53.270.39. 28 Felmer. ruler of Moldavia.225. ruler of Moldavia.192.175. 202.251.158160.80.260 . 172-173.268. Sabin.122123. 194. ruler of the United Principalities.275 Gherman.269 Duca. 212.

176 Grigorescu. 56. 81 Horea.218.93.124-125. Ionescu.244.69.243. Alexandr Ivanovich.271 Horthy.5557.222.164. Adolf. 64. 272 Kohl. of 273-274 Iliescu. Nema. Vaclav.271.212.273 Groza. MU&. 197-200.265. Zoia. fictional character. 243 ' 248-249. 63 Hasdeu. 205. 271. Vasile.4041. 84 Istrati.212-213. 220. 200.115. Ibr%leanu.264.118 Julian the Apostate. Gheorghe. Detru.256. 100.252 Iancu. tsar of Russia. August Treboniu.271 Herder. Nicolae.271 Iordan. 190 Jesus Christ. Rom.266.80 Goga. 58.193.212-215.96. Avram. Iorgulescu.83.271 Iancu of Hunedoara. 30 Gusti. king of the Bulgxians and Romanians.246. 167.247 Ioniti.88.212. Eremia. voivode of Transylvania.267 Homer. 210.64-68. 201-.246 Iunian.99 Herzen. 46-47. 219 Hitler.1 0 0 Kaloyan: see Ionifii Kiseleff.143 Herodotus.228.272 Kogilniceanu. 225.ois.273.178. Johann Gottfried. 126 Iorga.132.195. 56. 52 Ionescu-Nica. 79. 144 Lazir.106-107.106.234 Hodog.222-223.255-256. Mikhail. 52-53. 15.254 Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. Alexandru. 222- G. 203.200.4849.55. 10.. 17.192. 277 Ionescu.49-50. 219 Lahovari. 270 Goethe. 64 Laurian. ruler Moldavia.75. 193. Vladimir Ilich. Nicolae. Dinu C. 38.244. 8 Heliade Ridulescu. 177.227.251-253 Havel. 200.90-93.135.272 Lenin. 219.99. Garabe150 Ieremia Movili.115. Ana. Ion.119-124.115-116.196.164-165. Octavian.178. Helmut. 199 Lazarus.252-253. 105107.192.282 Giurescu.21-22..161 Lapedatu.120. Mihail.146-147.222.dynasty. 158.154.225 .249. Iourgu.277 t.134.260 Giurescu. 222-223. 218-219.253-254. 76 Ivan 111. 75-76.256.53-54. 87.216. JohannW o f p g von. 173. 2 Ipitescu.131.66-68. Johann Kaspar. Dimitrie.138. Transylvanian voivode. 4748.215.134-135.246-248.193. 187 Hunyadi Jkos: see Iancu of Hunedoara Hum. Franq.108. 224 Gorbachev. 52-53. ruler of Wdachia. ruler of Moldavia.55 Jullian. 124.59. Constantin I. 207. 33. 68. 84. Alexandru.272 Ipsilanti.270 Guizot.237 Lavater.m emperor. 43. 214 Jordanes. Camille. 61.97.243. Moritz.. grand prince of Muscovy..88-89.178. 178.216. Ion.196. 97-98.243. 240 Kosmodemianskaia.108. Pavel. 104.Ion.276 Ivan the Terrible. Bogdan Petriceicu.254 Goldi?. Nae. Mircea.63.246. Grigore.271 Glad.222. ConstantinC. 159.124. 75 INDEX Ioan Vod5 the Terrible.

20-22.274 Numa Pompilius.254 Madgearu.220222. 138. Karl. 150.163.250. Titu.2Ol-202. 256. Slobodan.273 Maurer. 246 Onciul.271. Jean-Baptiste Poquelin. 172- Mussolini. 229 hlarx.135-136. 80 Pdrvan. 6546. 174.INDEX 283 Mihnea VodZ the Bad.17..244.252 Mao Zedong.255. Mircea.268. 190.198.218. 29 Napoleon 111. Ion.246.220. 214 Maria.24.272 Manning. ruler Wdlachia. 207. Negru Vodi.90. Ion Gheorghe.181. ruler Wallachia.69-71.87.244. 224. 43. king of Romania. Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso). 74.80. 35. 161-162. Ilie. 64. Constantin. Eugen.257 Mehmet 11. ruler Wallachia. 43 Lysimachus.277 Matthias Corvinus. 14 Nistor. 80.116-118.221-222. 66. 20 Niculescu.269 of Machiavelli. Guglielmo.260 Pascu.161 Nistase.204 Michael I.192.57-58.203.135. Stefan. Alexandru.273. 193 Nestor.212.96.88. 39 Morand. Ioan. 9 Mincu. Sorin.212.229-230.274-275 Negruzzi.244. Olivia. French emperor. 155. Niccol6. ruler of Wallachia. of 228.212. 165.137.253-254 Luca Arbure. Petru. 159.253 Panu. 92. 80 Marin.255 Lupa?. Dimitrie.127.243 Mihalache.134l35.235 Massim. 40. 207-210.94. 213 Mqat.192-193.192-195. Alexandru. Edgar.84. Paul.246.254. 17. 53-54. Vasile.256.86. Iuliu.3943. Ioan.sultan.56-57. 201.177- 203. 43 Odobescu.256.273 Michael the Brave. Andrei.20-21.36.23-26. 222. Valter. 63.69.93-94.260 Otetea.249 Nicolaescu. 223.272 Maniu.62. 193 MiloieviC.156-157. king Thrace.276 Mitterand.125.150. 196.249 Lupescu.205.55.274 Neagoe Basarab.252 Mota. 248-249.248.76 Magheru. 55.66- 185. 84. 64.133-~40.242243 P a p . 32.57.244. of Moliire. Ion. Fransois.251. 223 Marconi.276-277 Menumorut. 190 Miricineanu. 64. Vasile.95-98. queen of Romania. 63 242. Ioan. Ion.276 Luca.250.80.270 MeitroviC.245 Maiorescu. 137.272 Lycurgus. 24. 193 Lovinescu.248.90. of 106. Jules.248-249 .76. Vasile. Transylvanian voivode.220. Ion.~43. rulerof Wallachia. 108.212.87 Matei Basarab. 216 Maior.54-60.100. 15.83.189. Louis XIII. Ivan.201. PetreP. French emperor. 194.243-244.273 Michelet.253.134.119-120. Gheorghe.274. 127. 148.203. 50 Micu.124. 39.274 .88. Sergiu. Benito. Elena. 185. 74. George. 64 Noica. king Hungary. Samuil. Virgil.269.256.227 Napoleon I.68.6344. of 193.266.255256.212.171. 60 Mircea the Old.210. 122. 60.38. 38 Panaitescu. 124.62. 240 Mitu. king of France. Costache.

214.250. mythical ruler.184 Sturdza. Mihail.277 .241 Stefinitii.108-109.97-98.249 Sofronie of Cioara.209.135-136. 24.76. 190.243 Sirbu.105 Scorilo. 4. 178 Philippide. 118 Pythagoras. Stephen 11.203. 199 Strabo. Nicolae. 34.275 Petru Rare?. Joseph. 94 Peter the Great. Alex.241 Popescu.92. 275 Philip 11. Grigore.217. Gheorghe. 43 Solzhenitsyn.73.146 Pop. 40. mythical ruler.200. 192. 222.244. 38 Teodoroiu. 207.276 Smuil. 33. 17. 198 Spartacus.175176.56. Grigore. 144 Stoker.69. Costin. Roman emperor.190. tsar of Bulgaria. 114 Saturn. 222 Pintilie.46-47.252 S C U ~ ~ U . Franz Joseph.191-192.101. Oscar Luigi.194- 196. 52.255-256 IO^. 48. 118 Pu?cariu. 217. 85.172.209. 38- 14. 44.57.245. 214. Romulus.248 Philippide.207. 205. 99 Roller.215. 80 Portocalii.229.207. 126. Gheorghe. Ilie.248-249.275 Petru $chiopul.276 Tocilescu. ruler of Moldavia. 66 PiitrZ~canu. 134. Alecu.247.190. Shakespeare. 131 Philip the Arabian.266 Petru. 275 Petrescu.225.227-228.129.245 Procopius of Caesarea.212-215. 276 Sadoveanu. 172-174. 149. Petre. 71-72.60. Constantin.275-276 Steinthal.195-197. Lucre$u. tsar of Russia.253 Sion family.255 Simion. Mihail. ruler of Moldavia.8385.224.251 Vasile Lupu. Eugen. Iosip Broz.246. 197. 48.250.284 INDEX Patapievici.55. 98. Camil.255.254 Petrescu. Carlo. 97-98 Scalfaro. Constantin.199. Mihail. supposed Dacian king.138.245. Filimon. 139. 44..253 Urechia Vasile Alexandrescu. Heymann. 119.190.223. 92-33.275 Pitroiu.105- Russo. Bram.221-222. 131. 212 Stephen the Great.219. Ionit.80. 3. king of Macedonia.218-219. 48 Sulzer. Nicolae. Cezar.256 Stefinescu. ruler of Moldavia.248. founder of the “RomanianBulgarian kingdom”.26. 221 Scriban.236.250 Pitrqcu the Good. 190. Ioan-Aurel. ruler of Moldavia.257 Popov Aleksandr. 39. 223 Sorbul. 178-179. 106.230. 218 Sirbu.203. Ecaterina.200. rulerof Moldavia.42. 196. Vasile. Horia-Roman.249 Tiutu. Dimitrie. 15. ruler of Moldavia.255 Pauker. 73 Solon.58.247. Miguel de. 47 Tagliavini.246 Preda. 216 Petrescu.246 Trajan. Ioan. Sextil. 138. 219. 218 Pogor.215 Stalin. 192.256.192. Marin. 8 Sonp.86 PiliutZ.201.233 Tuiea.114. 212. Grigore. 48-49 Sion. Aleksandr. 140. 174-175 Titulescu.276 Tito. 219-223. Ana.69. Alexandru.67. 114 Petru Aron. 97-98 Ureche.103. Roman emperor.241 Sincai.17. Radu.135.100 Uranus. William.255 Unamuno. 7. ruler of Moldavia. rulerof Moldavia.201. 89.

144 Xenopol.199200. ruler of Wallachia: see Vlaicu Vodii Vlaicu Vodii. Dan.222- 223. 277 Vulpe.215. Radu.86. 135. 17-18. 256.120.INDEX 285 Vulcinescu.242 . 35. ruler of Wallachia.135. Ieniichitii.32. Andrei. 81. 80. 21.220-222.256 Zalmoxis.56.212-213.198. Tudor. Katherine.132-133.107.193. 99.276-277 Vladirnirescu. 250.192.190. Alexandru.277 Vlad Tepeg. 255. Whelm.252 Zamolxe: see Zamolxis Zeletin.248249. 47. 193 Villehardouin.203. 212. rulerof Wallachia.219-220.203.260 Vidra.138. 172. 10 Vkiirescu.257 Zamfirescu.149.253.l93 Volovici. 146-148.123-124.277 Verdery. literary character.195.176. 14. 52 Wad Dracul.214. Stefan.196.23. 115- AlexandruD.235. 50 Vizanti.250.241 Wundt. Geoffioi de. Vasile.247.. 206. Mircea.36. Leon.245.277 Vladislav I.253.195-196.271.100.

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