|Stefan Pascu: A History of Transylvania|
Pascu, p. 42:
EARLY MEDIEVAL CIVILIZATION (pp. 42 - 64)
The Dawn of Feudal Society.
The civilization of the eighth and ninth centuries in Transylvania was a direct continuation of that of the preceding period. Known as the Romanian Dridu civilization, after the place in Tara Româneasca where the most extensive remains have been found, the society was created by the Romanian people and retained its original character everywhere they lived. It developed in the eighth century as the indigenous ethnic element consolidated following the assimilation of the first wave of Slavic peoples;...
In Istoria României, Compendiu, Bucharest, 1969, p. 106, the following is stated about the Dridu-culture:
The term "Dridu culture" is not correct, since the material remains of this type are more numerous and better represented on the territory of Bulgaria, where this culture also has been formed. It is an early Slavic culture (or, better, Slavo-Bulgarian) culture and its spread north of the Danube is caused by influences from the south as well as by the temporary extension of the first Bulgarian kingdom over some north-Danubian areas. With more success could be sustained, we believe, the Ancient Rumanian or Rumanian character of the so called Bucov culture in the hilly area of northern Muntenia [emphasis in the original].
This view is expressed also by Constantin Daicoviciu in an article from 1967 (in Dacica, 1969, p. 552), and earlier even by Stefan Pascu (e.g. in 1968):
...we agree with the view of academician C. Daicoviciu and of other investigators, according to which it [the Dridu culture] was in the 9th century mostly spread by the Bulgarians, as it is also proved by its geographical distribution. 70
This culture extended in time from the 8th to the 11th centuries and covered, besides Bulgaria, parts of present day Rumania and beyond, to the river Dniester.
It was characteristic of Rumanian historiography during the Communist era that concepts were changed radically without any decisive new discovery or evidence. Thus, in the 3rd edition of Istoria României. Compendiu, published in 1974, (after the death of C. Daicoviciu,) the above passage is changed to the following:
The material culture of the type Dridu reflects an ethnic as well as a socio-economic reality of the various human communities in the Carpatho-Danubian geographic space. Also the Ancient Rumanian or Rumanian character of the so called Bucov culture may be sustained, in the hilly area of northern Muntenia, where some details characteristic of the Rumanian population have been discovered. Thus, as regards pottery, alongside the Slavic and the south-Danubian type, also pottery burned red appeared, made on a wheel with fast rotation, derived from the provincial Roman pottery of the 4th - 5th centuries and specific to the Rumanian population.71
The first version states clearly that the Dridu culture is Slavic (Bulgarian). In the second version, it is not said explicitly that it is now considered Rumanian (it is a culture "of different human comunities in the Carpatho-Danubian area"). The word "also" in the next sentence (which refers to the Bucov culture, considered Rumanian), is thus not logical, because it contradicts the previous sentence - but may suggest for the superficial reader that also the Dridu culture is Rumanian.
These communities had earthen fortresses, as, for example, in Arad (Vladimirescu) in southwest Transylvania and in Moresti and Dabîca in central and northeastern Trans- sylvania...
A detailed description of the fortress found at Dabâca (Hungarian Doboka) was given by S. Pascu, M. Rusu et al. in 1968. 72 The material remains indicate Slavs, Hungarians and Petchenegs (Patzinaks). In favour of the assumption of a Rumanian population here, the authors give the following reasoning:
So far no fortresses of the type that exist at Dabîca have been reported or investigated in the plains of the Tisza or in Pannonia (inhabited by Moravian Slavs and Hungarians), therefore, those discovered in Transylvania must be attributed to the local Rumanian- Slavic population, their aim having been military, as the centres of formations first of cnez- es, later of voivodes (p. 180).
This is a weak argument for the Rumanian character of this type of fortresses. It is invalidated by the fact that similar earthen fortresses from the same time were found in the Hungarian plain. The construction of the fortress of Dabâca started in the second half of the 10th century by the Hungarians. 73
In this period new Slavic tribes, more numerous and better organized than those of the seventh century, settled on Romanian territory. Their influence was correspondingly more substantial, but it was felt primarily in the Romanian vocabulary. [...]
The Slavs also transmitted some influences from the Bulgarian kingdom, which has been established in 686 after the Bulgars settled south of the Danube in the Byzantine Empire.
As we also have seen above, Pascu tries to play down the tremendous Slavic impact upon the Rumanian language. To describe it as "some influences from the Bulgarian kingdom" does not correspond to reality. The South Slavic influence upon the Rumanian language presupposes very different circumstances from those that prevailed north of the lower Danube in the 8th - 10th centuries, with a relatively scanty Slavic population, not yet Christianized. 74 In the 9th century, Bulgaria ruled over southern Transylvania, but from the 10th century on, Hungarians occupy its valleys and its central areas, and Petchenegs invade the extra-Carpathian territories. Most of the South Slavic influence was exercised on Northern Rumanian after this period, i.e.,during the 11th - 13th centuries. Thousands of Slavic words were borrowed, and also the phonetics and morphology of the language were affected. The Slavic influence gave the superstratum of Rumanian, as for example the Frankish language was the superstratum of French. 75
At the beginning of the tenth century, yet another foreign people, the Magyars, entered Transylvania. Their penetration of Transylvania was similar to other expeditions which these tribes undertook in western Europe and Byzantine Empire after settling in Pannonia in 895-96. The Magyars, of Finno-Ugric origin, had left the region of the northern Ural Mountains around the end of the ninth century, in response to pressure from other tribes. Under the leadership of "Duke" Arpad, they settled first in Pannonia and later in the Tisza plain. They found these new territories, inhabited by Slavs, Romanians, and others, insufficient for grazing their herds, which was their principal occupation in their new home. They undertook expeditions of conquest in order both to expand their pasture lands and to obtain Transylvania's underground riches - especially salt, which was an absolute necessity for them, but which Pannonia lacked. After they have accomplished these goals, the majority of the tribesmen withdrew from Transylvania. Only a few remained among the indigenous population, which explains why, in all of Transylvania, definite traces of the tenth-century Magyar population have been discovered only in Cluj, Biharea-Oradea, and Siclau-Arad [sic] (from the early tenth century), and at Gîmbas and possibly at Lapodea [sic] near Aiud (later in the century).
(Rightly: Siclau [< Hungarian Sikló]; Lopadea [< Hungarian Lapád]).
This description of the Hungarians' early settlement in Transylvania, as well as that of the history of the Hungarians before they occupied the Carpathian basin is false: originally a population speaking a Finno-Ugric language, the Hungarians lived for many centuries north of the Black Sea, where they came into close contact with Turkish tribes. From there, they migrated, pushed by the Petchenegs, to the Carpathian basin towards the end of the 9th century.
At several places in Transylvania, definite traces of a Hungarian population have been found - cemeteries, as mentioned also by Pascu, buildings, churches, and fortifications. These were situated in the valleys of the rivers and in the Transylvanian basin, where circumstances were suitable for agriculture and the raising of animals. From those centuries there is not a single trace of a Rumanian population in Transylvania. As it will be seen below, the early placenames of the territory are Slavic, Hungarian and German; the first Rumanian placename there appeared in the 13th century.
In fact, Romanian society in the ninth to eleventh centuries was marked by a considerable degree of political organization. There is evidence that communes in river valleys and natural basins all over Transylvania had formed alliances called knezates and voivodates. Knezates were smaller and less important than the voivodates, which were also popularly known as tari, "countries." [...]
The most important of the written sources is the chronicle known as the Gesta Hungarorum, the late twelfth-century work of a certain P. magister, Belae regis notarius (Master Peter or Paul, secretary to King Béla - probably Béla III). This chronicle is complemented and confirmed in various ways by other Magyar chronicles...
According to the P. magister chronicle, when the Magyar tribes invaded at the beginning of the tenth century, most of Transylvania was organized into three great voivodates (or "duchies," to translate the Latin terminology of the various sources): Crisana, under the voivode Menumorut [...] .the Banat, under the voivode Glad [...] and Transylvania [...] This voivodate was led by the Romanian (Blachus) voivode Gelu, whose subjects included both Romanians and Slavs (Blachi et Sclavi).
These political units were certainly "countries" like the many other tari into which the Romanian lands were divided at the time. Written sources mention Tara Românilor (Bolohovanilor) and Tara Cîmpulungului Moldovenesc in the northeast...
(the names of a total of 21 such "countries" [properly speaking:districts] follow, 12 in the extra-Carpathian territory of Rumania and 9 in Transylvania).
Investigating the evidence of what Pascu asserts here, one finds that it is boiled down to a few, unconfirmed statements in the Gesta Hungarorum. An analysis of this chronicle is given among others by Illyés, 1992, pp. 11 - 32, with a summary of the entire chronicle as well as the English translation of the passages referring to eastern Hungary and Transylvania; cf. also Du Nay, 1996, pp. 215 - 219 . Here, we will only discuss some of the most conspicuous errors in Pascu's text, referring otherwise to the above analyses.
1. Those "Romanian districts"(tari)76 which Pascu enumerates are not recorded in written sources to have existed in the period in question, the 9th - 10th centuries. Thus, also the assumption that "there were unquestionably other tari as well, but these would not have been mentioned by the chronicles if they had nothing to do with the Magyar tribes on their expeditions in search of minerals and pastures" (p. 48) is baseless.
2. According to the Gesta Hungarorum, Gelu was "quidam Blachus;" but neither Menumorut in Crisana nor Glad in the Banat are described to have been Rumanian: the former is said to have been Kazar, "with a Bulgarian heart" (bulgarico corde), and the second, a "Cuman". This is not stated by Pascu, and so he "includes" also these territories into the Rumanian territories, as if the Gesta had done the same: "For example, the anonymous notary of King Béla III describes the chieftains of the Romanian groups in Crisana, the Banat, and Transylvania proper" (p. 51).
3. A large Rumanian necropolis near Alba Iulia from 8th - 9th centuries is asserted to have been found recently (p. 48), but no reference is given about it. Since Slavs were living in the territory in those times, it would be essential to give the reasons why this necropolis is considered Rumanian.
The rest of this chapter - about accumulated wealth in the towns by the Rumanian voivodes, social stratification, etc., is not documented, or, there are indications about the material culture, but nowhere is it confirmed that the people here were Rumanians.
The Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries
The Romanian political units consolidated territorially, militarily, and politically.
[The prince of the Transylvanian voivodate] ...was Gyla, whose name perhaps derives from a Hungarian word meaning an army commander and high judge, of from the name of a Petcheneg tribe living in southeastern Transylvania. The center of Gyla's expanded voivodate was at Balgrad, near Alba Iulia, a fortress town built of earth, wood, and stone. [...]
Such were the circumstances at the beginning of the eleventh century, when the Hungarian king Stephen I and the aristocrats of his court began to look toward neighbouring lands, the home of Romanian farmers and herdsmen, miners and craftsmen. The changes that had occurred in Magyar society were the most important reason for the expansionist policy. [...] Stephen eventually won.
Pascu's assertion about the consolidation of "the Romanian political units" is baseless. Such units did not exist in the 11th century. No written document mentions Rumanians in Transylvania in that period and archeological finds as well as the river names and the placenames of the territory contradict Pascu's assumptions. 77 Here, we only point out the circumstance that the popular Rumanian name of present day Alba Iulia (Hungarian Gyulafehérvár) was derived from Slavic: Balgrad. The first part of the modern official name of this town is a translation from Hungarian or Slavic and the second part (Iulia) was borrowed from Hungarian (Gyula).
Hungarian gyula had in the period in question the sense of "high commander, chieftain". 78 After the Christianization of the Hungarians, it became a personal name and through this, a name of settlements. There is in eastern Hungary the town Gyula, in Maramures the village Giulesti, Hungarian Máragyulafalva, first mentioned in 1349: villa Gylafalva, Gyulafalva (near Sighetul Marmatei), Giula, Hungarian Kolozsgyula, first mentioned in 1307: terra seu possessio Gyula (near Gherla), Coasta or Giulatelec, Hungarian Gyulatelke, first mentioned in 1318: villa Gyulatelke (near Gherla), Fîntînele or Gialacuta, Hungarian Gyulakuta, first mentioned in 1332: sacerdos de Kulakuta, 1335: Gulacuta, near Tg. Mures, and Giulus, Hungarian Gyulas, first mentioned in 1413 (later than the other names with Gyula): poss. Gyulatelke, Gyulastelke, (near Târnaveni). 79 It is obvious that these names are old, with first mentionings (with one exception) in the 14th century, and that all were borrowed by the Rumanians (in various forms: Giula, Giala[cuta], Giula[telec], Giulesti); the present day Rumanian names were given by 19th century intellectuals or by officials.
Thus, Gyula was a Hungarian chieftain, who had built up his own power and was able to defy his relative, the Hungarian king Stephen I. The independence of Transylvania in that period was not caused by a non-Hungarian population but by struggle for power between Hungarian leaders. King Stephen I determined to make all his country Christian and integrate it into Christian western Europe. 80
The Magyars, unsuccessful until the end of the eleventh century in their attempts to reenter Transylvania, called the area Ultrasilva, Ultrasilvana, Transilvana, Erdeelu, and Erdeleu- which means, both geographically and politically, the land "beyond the forest," "beyond the woods".
Indigenous populations all over the world have their own name for themselves and for the land they are living in. The Rumanian name for Transylvania was borrowed from Hungarian: Ardeal. It is first mentioned in a document from 1432, in the form Ardeliu (stated also by Pascu, although not in the English translation but in Voievodatul Transilvaniei, I, p. 22). This form derives from Hungarian Erdély (the e > a change in Rumanian borrowings from Hungarian is demonstrated by many examples: Hungarian egres > Rumanian agris ("gooseberry"), Hungarian Egyed > Rumanian Adjud, etc. 81 This is still the popular name of Transylvania, used by the people; "Transilvania" is a coined word, taken from the Latin translation of Erdo-elü > Erdély "beyond the forest". In the documents, the name of this territory is first mentioned in its Latin translation: Ultra silvam ad castrum quod vocatur Turda...(1075 A.D.), then, in 1111, the chief assigned for the territory by the Hungarian king is mentioned: Mercurius princeps Ultrasilvanus. This form is used also by Rogerius, prebend of Nagyvárad (Oradea) in his description of the Tartar invasion in 1241: Ultra Silvam, Ultrasilvanus episcopus. However, in the Legenda Sancti Gerhardi, written in the first half of the 12th century, we find Partes Transsilvanae, and beginning with the 14th century, this name is used generally in the documents. 82 The first mention in a written text of the Hungarian name is in Anonymus' Gesta Hungarorum, from the end of the 12th century: siluam igfon que iacet ad erdeuelu (chapter 11; cf. Illyés, 1992, facing p. 17; cf. also pp. 335 - 336), in modern Hungarian: erdo-elve "beyond the forest," from which the present form developed: Erdély.
The assertion by Pascu (in Voievodatul Transilvaniei I, p. 21) that "the Hungarian name of Transylvania is nothing else than a translation of the Latin name," is thus wrong. There were no Romans to give this name to the territory, and the Hungarian population could not, of course, give a Latin name to any territory (see also below, Appendix). They called it Erdo-elve and this was translated by the learned people who wrote the documents for the Hungarian kings; in that time, it was general usage to write official documents in Latin. Not even Pascu pretends that Transilvania was a name used by "Daco-Romans". The German name of this territory is Siebenbürgen. Septem Castra appears in the documents beginning with the 13th century; from the 14th century, the following forms are recorded: Simburg, Simburk, Sibenburg, Sybenburg, Syebenpurg, Sebinburgen, Sebinburgin, Sibenpurgen.83 The Teutonic Knights settled in south-eastern Transylvania (in Burzenland, Hung. Barcaság, Rum. Tara Bârsei) by King Andreas II at the beginning of the 13th century, erected (1211-1225) seven castles there: German Marienburg, Hung. Földvár, Rum. Feldioara; Heldenburg (Heltven), Höltövény, Halchiu; Schwarzenburg, Feketehalom, Codlea; Eulenburg, Bagolyvár, (there is no Rumanian name because no settlement developed around this castle); Rosenauer Burg, Rozsnyóvár, Râsnov (today part of Brasov); Törzburg, Törcsvár, Bran; and Kreuzburg - Thell (name of the castle and of the settlement, respectively, Keresztvár - Nyén, Teliu (only the settlement has a Rumanian name).
Nevertheless, Magyar control of Transylvania was made difficult by local resistance. The Magyar kings therefore sought to win over the leading groups among the indigenous population, and in certain regions they also established colonies, first of Magyars and later Szeklers, Saxons, and lastly Teutonic knights.
Finally, when Magyar authority took in the southeastern corner of Transylvania at the beginning of the thirteenth century, the Szeklers were settled there, alongside the indigenous population. There they remain today.
As with the territories settled by Szeklers and Saxons, so with the lands granted to the Teutonic knights: they were already inhabited by an indigenous Romanian population, as is shown by place names and the remains of a few fortified settlements mentioned in contemporary documents.
It is only on rare occasions that Pascu refers to a documentation of his assertions. He re-iterates that there was, in the 10th century, an "indigenous Romanian population" in practically the entire territory in question, without giving any evidence. In the above passages, Pascu refers to placenames and fortified settlements (in Barcaság, Rum. Tara Bârsei, German Burzenland), but does not mention a single placename. One may ask: what is found in the documents about these settlements and what are those placenames that indicate "indigenous Rumanians" in the area in question?
The assertion made by Pascu that the Barcaság was "already inhabited by a Rumanian population" when the Teutonic knights were settled there, is entirely groundless, as shown by the following analysis of the placenames there:
Documents from the first part of the 13th century tell us about terra Blachorum et Bissenorum situated probably in parts of present day Fagaras (Hungarian Fogaras). The Teutonic knights were settled in the Barcaság, and possibly a small part of Fogaras. One of their chief fortresses was at present day Feldioara; the ruins of this are still visible in the village. The name has no sense in Rumanian and is obviously the borrowing of Hungarian Földvár "earthen fortress". The nearest villages are Haghig, Araci, and Rotbav. The names of two of these were transferred to Rumanian from Hungarian and that of the third from German, as shown by the following: Haghig derives from Hungarian Hídvég ("bridge abutment"), first mentioned in 1332: sacerdos de Hydueg. Araci was by the Rumanians earlier called Arpatac (the form Araci is of a late date) derived from Hungarian Árapatak (Hung. patak "brook"). Rodbav derives from the German name of this village: Rotbach; a parallel name-giving with the Hungarians, who have (Szász)Veresmart (Hungarian veres "red" and mart "[river-]bank"). - This is the case also of the other villages in the area: their Rumanian names were borrowed either from Hungarian or from German. Towards the north-west, there is Rum. Cloasterf, from German Klossdorf, shortened from Nikolausdorf. The sound pattern of this placename indicates also approximately in which period it was adopted by the Rumanians: while the Hungarian name of this village: Miklóstelke, contains the name corresponding to German Nikolaus, the Rumanian name is based only on the shortened German form, which necessarily must be a later development. This indicates that the Rumanian population arrived to this place quite late, i.e., after the settlement of both the Germans and of the Hungarians. - Not a single placename of Rumanian origin is found in the entire area and all those 18 names of villages known in the 13th - 14th centuries were borrowed by the Rumanians - which proves that they settled among Hungarians, as well as among German and Walloon settlers. Even the Petchenegs have left a placename in the area: Talmács (Rumanian Talmaciu, German Talmesch, Talmatsch) first mentioned in 1318: Tholmach.84
Social Changes in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries
The indigenous aspects of feudalism were maintained throughout the country in the Middle Ages, although most strongly in the peripheral areas. The tari so often mentioned in the sources of the time - Tara Bîrsei, Tara Fagarasului, Tara Hategului, Tara Severinului, Tara Oasului, and Tara Maramuresului, which completely surround Transylvania - are in fact the old autonomous Romanian political units, alliances of communes.
...judgements at law were based on ancient custom, traditional land rights, or Romanian law (jus valachicum), which the authorities were compelled to recognize;...
The sources of the time (12th - 13th centuries) do not mention a single one of these tari; they appear in documents much later. The origin of their names, not discussed by Pascu, will be presented below, p. 83 (see also table 2, pp. 84-86). Here, we only mention that they all are borrowings.
Silviu Dragomir described the Vlach shepherds living in the central parts of the Balkan peninsula during the Middle Ages. One of their characteristic features was a great mobility: "They try to flee from one landlord to the other, using the paths of shepherds they know very well. Good pastures and favourable living conditions were always decisive." 85 These migrations resulted in the spread of this population to almost all parts of the Balkan peninsula, to many areas north of the Danube, as far as to Moravia, Poland, Ukraine and other areas north of the Black Sea; some groups of Vlachs reached even the Caucasian mountains.
The Vlach shepherds had, during the Middle Ages, special obligations and rights. This "jus Valachicum" originated from the Balkan peninsula. The Vlachs in Serbia belonged to the king, or, later, to the monasteries. In many cases they only paid their metayage (dijme) for grazing in the forests of the monastery. It was in these circumstances, in medieval Serbia, that the jus Valachicum developed, on the basis of the special occupation, cattle breeding, of the Vlachs:
Their situation became more clearly defined when the Serbian lords started to make laws concerning them. Such laws or statutes were made at first for the Vlachs of the monasteries of Studenica and Milosevo. These were not preserved to our age. Their obligations are, however, clearly shown by the so called "law of the Vlachs" [lege a vlahilor], found in the hrisov of Banja and in two of Czar Dusan's donations, those from Vranje and Prizren. We may say that they [the Vlachs] in general provided all the products of grazing, that they had to occupy themselves with the breeding of all kinds of cattle and also with all kinds of transports. 86
This jus Valachicum followed the Vlachs everywhere in their wanderings, as far as to Poland:
The special character of the Rumanian villages in Poland was given by the jus Valachicum, which states certain norms: cnez-es in front of a village, a special jurisdiction, the economic obligations; the cmet [peasant] had the right to be treated according to the jus Valachicum also in case he moved to another village, etc. Thus, the "Vlach right" had an economic part and a juridical one; it could not be violated; it was brought from the country of origin. In the course of time, however, it decreased until it disappeared, together with the Rumanians, in the large mass of the Northern Slavs. 87
In Poland, the Vlachs protested against those who "dared to interfere and violate the recognized privileges of the Vlachs", as stated in a document from the year 1447. 88
The country of origin of these special Vlach law appears from studies of the early Vlachs living in the Balkan peninsula. In Serbia, numerous documents (hrisovs) were preserved, written by kings and noblemen during the 12th to 15th centuries.
In the hrisovs of Prizren, the obligations of the Vlachs, who were subject to the king, are stated. These were not too heavy: each of them had to give each year, out of 50 sheep, one sheep with a lamb and a cow; and each second year a horse. They owned, thus, even horses, but their chief obligation was the quinquagesima. This must have been an ancient custom because we find it, with certain changes, also among the Daco-Romans and among the Vlachs living in Croatia. 89
One must add, however, that this "jus Valachicum" did not imply a kind of a local autonomy or a developed juridical system; in eastern Hungary and in Transylvania, the quinquagesima ovium was practiced: the immigrating Vlachs were initially no regular serfs on the estates, only tolerated shepherds, without any juridical status. To be permitted to graze their sheep on the territory of the estates, they were obliged to also graze the sheep of the estate and to give each year a female sheep with her lamb out of fifty sheep. The landlords had to pay taxes to the king according to the number of Vlachs living on their territory.
The documents which mention Rumanians in the first decades of the 13th century
The earliest documentary mention of Rumanians (Vlachs) in Transylvania refers to the year 1210 AD. It is a deed of gift by king Béla written in 1250 and mentions an army made up by Szeklers, Saxons, Petchenegs and Vlachs (Olacis), sent in 1210 by king Endre II to the help of the Vlacho-Bulgarian emperor Assen. It is stated that these Vlachs were shepherds living in the area of Hermannstadt (Rumanian Sibiu, Hungarian Szeben), and were frontier guards of the Hungarian king.
L. Tamás 90 has collected all the documents that mention Vlachs in Transylvania in the 13th century. These are, besides that from 1250 mentioned above, the following:
1. In a document from 1222, the Teutonic knights are given by the Hungarian king Endre II the privilige not to pay customs when transporting salt through the territories of the Szeklers or the Vlachs (cum transierint per terram Siculorum aut per terram Blacorum). These Vlachs were living in the vicinity of Kerc (Rumanian Cârta, German Kerz).
2. King Endre II confirmed in 1223 the ownership of a land of the monastery at Kerc, a land taken from the Vlachs (terram quam prius eidem monasterio contuleramus exemptam de Blaccis). It is questionable whether the Vlachs living here were a sedentary population, since no Rumanian placenames are mentioned in this document. Out of those five names mentioned, Olt and Kerc are of unknown origin and three are Hungarian: Eguerpatak, fagus Nogebik, and rivulus Arpas - indicating a sedentary Hungarian population.
3. King Endre II defined in 1224 the privileges and rights of the Saxons, in the Diploma Andreanum. This was for the Saxons the same as was only two years earlier for the Hungarian population the Golden Bull (Aranybulla). In the Diploma Andreanum, also the right to use a forest of the Petchenegs and the Vlachs was included (silvam Blacorum et Bissenorum cum aquis usus communes exercendo cum praedictis scilicet Blacis et Bissenis). This forest was probably in the high mountains in the area of Kerc.
In the period before the Tartar invasion (1241), these four documents mention Rumanians, all of them living along the southern border. They were most probably shepherds serving the Hungarian king as frontier guards. In these early documents, they are consistently called Blaccis, Blacis.
Documents in which Vlachs are mentioned after the Tartar invasion (1241) until the end of the 13th century:
1. King Béla IV gave the territory of Szerém to the Saint Johns' knights of Jerusalem in 1247 "with the knezates of Ioan and Farcas up to the river Olt, without the area of the knezate of voivod Lynioy" and Cumania "without the territory of Seneslav, voivode of the Vlachs." These areas between the lower Danube and the southern Carpathian mountains belonged earlier to the Cumans and the Tartars but were now under the reign of the Hungarian king. This document is the first one in which Vlach (Rumanian) knezates are mentioned in these territories.
2. King Béla IV gives to his son the land called Szék, which is situated inter t(erras Olacorum de Kyrch, Saxonum) de Barasu et terras Siculorum de Sebus - areas depopulated by the Tartar invasion: vacua et habitatoribus carens remanserat.
3. King Béla IV confirms in 1256 the rights of the archbishopric of Esztergom (Hungary), among other things in decimis percipiendis regalium proventum ex parte Siculorum et Olacorum, in pecudibus, pecoribus et animalibus quibuslibet, exceptis terragiis Saxonum, sed ex parte Olacorum etiam ubique et a quocumque provenientium, in regno Hungariae persolvi consuetorum. It appears from this document that the Rumanians in question were not a sedentary population.
4. In the year 1260, King Ottokar II records his victory over King Béla IV to the Pope, and relates that in the Hungarian army, also Cumans, Szeklers, Petchenegs and other peoples, and also Vlachs (Valachi) were fighting. It is not stated where these Vlachs came from.
5. King Béla IV records the incomes of the archbishop of Esztergom in 1262, which includes the tenth paid by the Szeklers and the Rumanians after cattle (de pecudibus et pecoribus exigendis ab Olacis et Siculis idem archiepiscopus percipiet decimam partem).
6. In 1291, in a royal jurisdiction, King Endre III gives back Fogaras (Rumanian Fagaras) and Szombathely to a certain Ugrin. The document refers to neighbouring Vlachs who, besides Szeklers and Saxons, have made a testimony (Saxonibus, Syculis et Olachis).
7. In 1292, King Endre III allows Sándor, from the family Ákos, to colonize Vlachs in three villages in the county of Hunyad (Hunedoara) and to keep them there. The names of these villages were: Elye, Zad and Fenes. They all are Hungarian: Elye, today Marosillye, first mentioned in 1266: villa Helya, in 1292: terra Elye, borrowed by Rumanian in the form of Ilia; Zad, first mentioned in 1292: Zad, in 1468: poss. Zadya; the Rumanian name, a tautology, appears for the first time in a document in 1733: Guraszáda, today: Gurasada (Hungarian szád "mouth; the opening of a valley"; Rumanian gura has the same sense). Fenes is not preserved as the name of a settlement. Here, it is documented that at the end of the 13th century, Vlachs were settled in Hungarian villages.
8. In 1293, King Endre III orders that all Vlachs (Rumanians) who are living on estates of the aristocracy or on any other kinds of estates (universos Olacos in possessionibus nobilium vel quorumlibet aliorum residentes) must be returned to his estate Scekes. The only exception was the chapter of cathedral of Gyulafehérvár (Alba Iulia), to whom it was permitted to keep 60 families of Vlach bondsmen (sexaginta mansiones Olacorum libere et secure valeant commorari) on his estates in Fylesd and Enud. This indicates that the number of Vlachs living permanently on the territory of the Hungarian kingdom in this period (end of the 13th century) must have been quite low.
9. In 1294, Rolandus, the voivode of Transylvania concludes an armistice with the defenders of the fortress Fenes in Bihar county, and promises them to defend them against bondsmen of the bishopric, as well as against his own Hungarian and Rumanian bondsmen (ab omnibus siue Vngarys siue infra indagines Solumus siue extra constitutis).
As it appears from the Latin quotations, in the documents written in and after the mid-13th century, the Rumanians no longer are called Blaccis, but Olacis (<Hungarian oláh - the original name of the Rumanians in the Hungarian language; as is the designation olasz for the Italians. 91 The designation román, used today, was introduced much later, in the 19th century.)
Thus, contrary to what Pascu asserts (p. 57), neither the placenames nor the documents indicate anything of the kind of Szeklers and Saxons settling in areas "already inhabited by an indigenous Romanian population." This evidence proves, to the contrary, that Rumanians settled, during several centuries, around and in settlements in which Hungarians or Saxons were living. In several cases, the sound pattern of the placename also indicates the approximative period in which the first Rumanians came to the settlement in question (for example German Nikolausdorf > Hungarian Miklósfalva, later Klossdorf > Rumanian Cloasterf).
In these documents written in Latin, the designation terra is used for all kinds of land (there is not only terra Blachorum, but also terra Siculorum, and terra Saxonum), it is also used as a synonym for villa (terra seu villa) and does not imply a local organization on a certain territory, as Rumanian tara was used later (after the 14th century). Pascu's assumption of "autonomous Romanian political structures," p. 59, is therefore baseless. The mentioning of terra Blachorum in Fagaras in the document from 1222 does not imply, as Pascu asserts (p. 60), that "...the free peasants were organized into the so-called Country of the Romanians (Terra Blachorum; mentioned in 1222)"...
Outside Transylvania, south of the Carpathian mountains, several Rumanian cnezates are mentioned, for the first time, in the mid-thirteenth century. These were the beginnings of the later voivodates in Oltenia and Muntenia.
The Hungarian kings organized the country in counties (German Komitat, Hungarian megye, Rumanian judet), they built fortresses (castrum regale). They needed people who served in the fortresses, as well as soldiers to defend the borders from the incursions of Petchenegs and later of Cumans and Tartars.
It was mentioned above that the king gave often the reign over Transylvania - or the eastern part of the country - to his son, whose dignity was initially called kiskirály "petty king", bán "ban, governor" and, later, vajda "voivod". The voivods - later not necessarily the son of the king - have often become powerful lords and could also defy the king, but this was not because of a Rumanian population was living there. In those times, the king had the power and he exercised it in eastern Hungary through the voivod. In Voievodatul Transilvaniei, I, p. 147 - 148, Pascu mentions some of the voivods, for example Gyula (in 1201 and 1214); in 1212 - 1213, the office of the voivod was occupied by the archbishop of Kalocsa (a Hungarian town along the Danube), although he probably did not really exercise it. Most of the voivods were Hungarian, as judged by their names.
Parallel with the organization of the counties, the Church was organized.
The most powerful Romanian communes, however, were those in Tara Maramuresului in northern Transylvania, which managed, by steadfast struggle, to resist the coming of feudalism until the middle of the fourteenth century.
The Rumanians living there had a special status which followed from their history, as stated by Jancsó:
Ancient Russian chronicles tell us that King Ladislaus the Cuman [Kun László] asked in 1284 - 1285 for help in Rome and in Constantinople against Tartar incursions. Constantinople sent strong help - a number of Vlachs - from the area of the river Ibar in present day Serbia. These Vlachs, together with the Hungarians, defeated the Tartars in the upper valley of the river Tisza. Since they did not want to return to their lands, the king settled them in Máramaros (Maramures). 92
Yet other towns appeared following the colonization by various groups in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries at the royal fortresses at Cluj, Satu Mare, and Timisoara, through the development of the economically well-situated villages of Brasov, Sibiu, Bistrita, Sighisoara, Medias, Sebes, and Orastie...
"Various groups"? The most important founders of towns were Germans.
The Tartar Invasion
In order to reorganize the region, Béla IV put out a call for new colonists, offering substantial privileges to those who accepted his offer.
[The peasants] rose up against their oppressors, refused to pay taxes [...] or settled in other areas, even south and east of the Carpathians, where they lived with other Romanians, their own people.
These two statements about circumstances in the same century contradict each other. It was exactly after the Tartar invasion that large numbers of Rumanians settled in Transylvania, because the terrible destruction there resulted in vast, depopulated areas. (The number of the soldiers in the army of the Tartar chief, Batu, is estimated to more than 600.000.) The oppression of the peasantry was a reality in later periods, and usually more brutal in Muntenia and Moldavia than in Hungary. S. Metes, who published a book about "Rumanian emigrations from Transylvania from the 13th to the 20th centuries" 93 does not mention - in spite of its title - a single case of a Rumanian having emigrated in the 13th century to Muntenia or Moldavia. The single emigration of Vlach shepherds he knows about is to southern Poland, to the region of the rivers Dunajec and Poprad. This took place after prince Boleslav married Kunigunda, the daughter of the Hungarian king Béla IV, to whom he gave, in 1257, the territory of Sandets. It may be mentioned that Vlach shepherds wandered with their sheep across practically the entire Balkan peninsula, southern Hungary, northern Hungary (the Slovak area), the territories north of the Black Sea, reaching as far as the Caucasus. This way of life is explained by their main occupation.
71IR Compendiu, 1974, p. 88.
72 "Cetatea Dabîca" The fortress at Dabîca , in Acta Mvsei Napocensis, 1968, pp. 153 - 202. The passage quoted here is found on p. 180. (The correct spelling of this name is now, after the spelling reform introduced in the early 1990's, Dabâca.)
73Illyés, 1992, p. 190.
74 Cf., for example, C. Daicoviciu (red.), Istoria României The History of Rumania , 1960, p. 753: ..."most of them the Slavs living in the territory of present day Rumania have maintained their old religion, as shown by the cemeteries in which the pagan rite has been retained (Satu Nou, Castelu) up to the 9th century inclusive."
75Cf. Du Nay, The Origins of the Rumanians, 1996, pp. 98 - 111.
76Rumanian tara as used here by Pascu means "district; surroundings of the governorship of a castle or of the center of an estate".
77Cf., for example, Du Nay, The Origins of the Rumanians, 1996.
78Before their Christianization, the Hungarians' highest chief was the kende; a kind of a sacral king, who almost never showed himself for the people. The real chief was the gyula: the commander of the army and the highest judge. After the Christianization, gyula was no longer a dignity but became a personal name.
79Suciu, I, 1967, p. 279.
80The Hungarian kings of the Árpád-family used to give certain parts of the country already in their lifetime to their heir, i.e., their eldest son. These "little kings" or petty monarchs, ruled over the territory in question preparing themselves for the duties of a king. Thus, for example, king András II made his son Béla (later king Béla IV) the petty monarch of Transylvania, where he ruled for ten years. Other names for this dignity were bán ("ban, governor or viceroy")and kormányzó ("governor, regent"), and only later vajda ("voivode"). This word was by the Hungarians as well as by the Rumanians borrowed from Slavic. Its original sense in Slavic was "high commander of the army". The designation bán was then mostly used for the ruler of Szörény and Croatia, and vajda for the regent of Transylvania.Later, also others than the king's son were appointed vajda.
81Illyés, 1992, p. 336.
82These data are given by S. Pascu in Voievodatul Transilvaniei I, pp. 19-22.
83 Voievodatul Transilvaniei, vol. I, p. 22; referring to Chronici Hungarici compositio saeculi XIV, chapter 26; Chronicon Monacense, chapter 9, etc.
84 Along the relevant part of the river Olt, the following villages were known in the 13th - 14th centuries: Talmács, 1265, of Petcheneg origin; Galt (on the place of present day Ungra, Hungarian Ugra: 1211: indagines castri Noilgiant, 1222 Noialt, 1325 Galt, 1850 Ungra, 1854 Szász-Ugra), from Walloon-French noiale galt "forest of nut-trees"; Venice, present day Rumanian Venetia de Jos, Hungarian Alsóvenice, 1235 Venetia, sacerdos de Venetiis, from Italian Venezia; Kolun, present day Rumanin Colun, Hungarian and German Kolun, 1322 villa seu poss. Colonia, 1494 Kollen, from German Köln - Colonia. These names were given by the settlers from western Europe and borrowed, as shown by the Rumanian names, by the Rumanians, who must have settled there after the 12th century, when the first German and Walloon settlers came to the area. The rest of the village names are Hungarian: Szakadát (1306), Földvár (1322), Fogaras (1291), Halmágy (1211), Miklósvár (1211), Hídvég (1332), Árpás (a river name in 1223 and the name of a villages in 1390), Szombathely (1291), Betlen, Sárkány, Debren (1235 Debran, mentioned by Suciu, II, 1968, p. 315 among villages that no longer exist); Kormospatak, Hévíz, and Doboka. All these Hungarian names were borrowed by the Rumanians.
85 Silviu Dragomir, Vlahii din nordul peninsulei Balcanice în evul mediu The Vlachs in the north of the Balkan peninsula in the Middle Ages , 1959, p. 172.
86 Dragomir, 1959, p. 122.
87 S. Metes, Emigrari românesti din Transilvania în secolele XIII - XX Emigrations of Rumanians from Transylvania in the 13th - 20th centuries , Bucharest, 1977, 2nd edition, p. 30.
88 Metes, p. 30.
89 Dragomir, 1959, p. 122.
90 Lajos Tamás: Rómaiak, románok és oláhok Dácia Trajánában Romans, Rumanians and Vlachs in Dacia Traiana , Budapest, 1935, pp. 191 - 197.
91This word was originally the name of a Celtic tribe in Old German; later it became to signify "Latin". It was borrowed by the Slavs: South Slavic vlah, plural vlasi. The Hungarians borrowed the plural: olasz "French, Walloon; Gallicus", from the 16th century on, also "Italus". Probably from another Slavic language, the Hungarians borrowed vlah in the singular. As shown by the documents, this word was adapted to Hungarian in the 13th century: oláh.
92 Benedek Jancsó, Erdély története The history of Transylvania , Cluj-Kolozsvár, 1931, p. 61. The Ancient Russin Chronicle of Nestor is a rich source regarding the early contact between the Hungarians and the Russians.
93 S. Metes, Emigrari românesti din Transilvania în secolele XIII - XX Emigrations of Rumanians from Transylvania in the 13th to 20th centuries , 2nd edition, Bucharest, 1977, p. 22.
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