Romania

Article

December 6, 2021

Romania (in Romanian: România) is a country in Eastern Europe, the sixth most populous country in the European Union and the eighth by area. The country's geography is structured by the Carpathians, the Danube and the Black Sea coast. Located on the borders of South-Eastern Europe and Central and Eastern Europe, Romania has as border countries Hungary, Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria and Serbia. A strong majority of the population identifies as Romanian (89%) and Orthodox Christian tradition (81%); 11% of inhabitants say they belong to ethnic minorities and 19% to minority faiths or to have no religion. The modern Romanian state emerges in the middle of the 19th century, but the history of Romanians is much older. Their language is Latin and their origins can be traced back to the Thraco-Romans, through Moesia (Danubian Roman province), Dacia (country of the Northern Thracians, conquered by the Roman emperor Trajan in 106), Dacia Aurelian in the Eastern Roman Empire (from which the Romanians inherited their religious tradition, mainly Orthodox Christian), the medieval principalities of Transylvania, Wallachia and Moldavia and finally the Romanian “old kingdom” resulting from the union of the “Danubian Principalities”. In modern times the influence of the Enlightenment, with its ideals of emancipation and progress manifested by the Romanian flag and the anthem, inspired a whole series of revolts and revolutions (Transylvanian in 1784, Moldovan and Wallachian in 1821, Romanian global in 1848, anti-totalitarian in 1945-1960 and in 1989). The constitutional monarchy of the 19th century evolved into a parliamentary democracy between 1918 and 1938, then an autocratic regime set in, followed by two totalitarianisms: fascism of the 1940s, and Soviet-type communism in the second half of the 20th century, until in 1989 (fall of the communist dictatorship lasting 45 years, and establishment of a semi-presidential democracy). After rapid economic growth in the early 2000s, the Romanian economy turned mainly to services, production and export of automobiles and energy, with companies like Dacia and Petrom. The country has been a member of NATO since 2004 and of the European Union since January 1, 2007.

Origin of the name

România, name of the country, is a neologism of the 19th century, but it is based on the name by which the speakers of the Romanian language referred to themselves from their origins, and which has been attested in writing since the 16th century. This endonym of români is linked to the Empire called today Byzantine, but whose real and official name was Ρωμανία (Romanía, of Rome, former capital of the Roman Empire). Until the 19th century, Orthodox Christians defined themselves as Ρωμαίοι (Romaíoi) or Ρωμιοί (Romioí), and not Έλληνες (Hellenes, a word which then only referred to ancient pagans), and even less Βυζαντινοί / Byzantinoí (Byzantines, word by Hieronymus Wolf in 1557). In fact, all the inhabitants of the Eastern Roman Empire defined themselves as Ρωμαίοι (Romées), whether they were Albanians, Armenians, Aromanians, Greeks or Rumanians. It was only shortly before their war of independence that the Greeks, still qualified as “Roumis” by the Turks, began to refer to themselves as Έλληνες (Hellenes), while Romanians and Aromanians were referred to by the exonym “Wallachians”. ". The endonym români, by which Romanian speakers identified, did not designate, in the Middle Ages, a nationality, but simply a common origin and language (in Romanian: limba românească). Romanian speakers were also identified by their geographical origin: Moldavian (in Romanian: Moldovean), Transylvain (in Romanian: ardelean), from Muntenia (in Romanian: muntean), from Olte

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