For about eight centuries we do not have documents to speak about the Wallachians from Transylvania. They reappear suddenly in the documents from XII century when the Hungarian Kingdom tried to conquer this territory.
These documents show that in this period Romanians continued to live in this territory and all over Romania; there are many different sources: names of rivers (Olt - Alutus , Mures - Maris, Arges - Argesis) names of places and documents from the court of the Hungarian kings confirmed by the Transylvanian Bishopric from Alba Julia, which confirmed possessions of the Romanian nobles in Transylvania, possessions which hadexisted since the time of the Hungarian King St. Isztvan (i.e. the year 1000) and even earlier.
Another precious document about the state formation of Wallachia – showing the same thing that happened in Transylvania - is the documentnamed GestaHungarorum (The Facts of the Hungarians) wroten by an anonymous notary at the court of the Hungarian King Béla III
The document contains precious information about the state structures which existed in Transylvania. We had three big states : one in the north-west headed by Menumorut, the second in south-west headed by Glad and the third in the centre ruled by Gelu. These three Romanian rulers became the vassals of the Hungarian king or were killed in battle like Gelu. After the conquest of Transylvania, the Hungarian crown started to colonise Transylvania with Saxon colonists brought here from the left side of the river Rhine in Germany, and the German order of the Teutonic Knights. The purpose was to build cities and fortifications in the south east corner of the province to defend it from the Turks, Tartars and Wallachians who entered Transylvania through here. They came from the year 1220 and built new cities like Brasov, Sighisoara or Sibiu.
In parallel with this activity, the Hungarian kingdom, a catholic one, tried to convert the orthodox religion of the Romanians who were and continued to be the 80% majority in this province.
To do this, they passed laws against them and took away all the social and political rights of the Romanians forcing them to embrace the catholic religion and declare themselves as Hungarians. This activity failed after about 900 years because the Romanian majority refused to change their religion and national identitiy from Romanians, and fought continuously for their rights.
Starting in 1300 the Hungarian king tried to extend his territory beyond the Carpathians chain in the east and south. In the south as you know already, was Wallachia and in the east the future state Moldova. In 1236 the Cumans gathering together in Moldova requested the Hungarian king to send them a bishop to baptise them in the catholic religion and let them to have settlements in Transylvania. This was a good opportunity for the Hungarian royalty to extend their influence beyond the Carpathians and gain newe allies very necessary because in 1241 from the east arrived the Mongol wave to Budapest.
The Mongol hoard arrived at the borders of Transylvania in 1241. The big Mongol army spread in 3 huge lines entering Transylvania from the north and south east. The northern line struck in theMaramures region (extreme north of Transylvania) in the mines region in Baia Mare and Rodna which inspired a catholic monk, named Rogerius to write a story called Carmen Miserabile (Threnody) about the events which happened during the invasion.
The second line entered Transylvania using the Oituz pass in the east Carpathians. There they were met by a small army of the Saxons and Hungarians from the city of Brasov which was a fortified city in a primary phase. The Saxons and Hungarians were destroyed by the Mongols who burned Brasov, Harman and Prejmer and then went to Budapest which was their next target. In a first battle they destroyed the Hungarian army and were ready to finish them off but had to go home because their Khan Ogoday died and they must attend the funerals. On the way back home some tribes of Tartars was settled to the north of the Black Sea and caused many, many problems during the coming years by their attacks against the Romanian countries.
As I said before, the policies of assimilitation used against the Romanians were very aggressive and not all the Romanian nobles resisted it. So some families, changed their religion to catholic and language to Hungarian.Two of those families, DragosbecamingDragfi, and the Hunedoara family known as Hunyadi, switched sides. The Dragos family was from Maramures, on the northern side of Transylvania, and with their help the Hungarian king formed a state in Moldova to defend Transylvania from there against the Tartars. The Dragos family was expelled from Moldova by Bogdan, another Romanian noble family which in the end crossed the Carpathians into Moldavia and founded the basics of the new Romanian state from there.
The Hunedoara (Hunyadi in Hungarian ) family started from a small Romanian noble called Voicu who received from the Hungarian king, the domain and castle of Hunedoara (which now is the largest medieval castle inRomania). The legend said, that , on the way to Hunedoara, Iancu was a children and was playing with the ring received by his father from the Hungarian king Sigismund of Luxemburg as a proof that he is the new master of the domain and castle. Suddenly, a raven stolen the ring but the children Iancu took an arrow killing the bird and recovering the ring. Since then, the other name of the family became Corvin( fromcorvus=raven in latin) and later when Iancu of Hunedoara became one of the most important governor of Transylvania and fighter against the turks, his name was, IancuCorvin de Hunedoara, known in Hungary as Hunyady Janos. His son, Mathias, became under the name of Mathias Corvin the most important Hungarian king from the 15-een century. Of course many Hungarian historians and journalists, tried to made up roman origins of this king, inventing a roman family called Corvinia to justify the name Corvin and to deny that he was half Romanian after his father or, even 100% Romanian because in those times the nationality of the children was given by the father not mather.
Vlad the Impaler
Stephen the Great
Michael the Brave
In the same way things happened in Moldova - where in 1365 a Romanian voievodes (military leader) from Maramures, called Bogdan, rose up against the protectorate of the Hungarian kingdom. All the Romanians living in Moldova became the basis of the feudal state of Moldova.
I will present you below one of the most important leaders of the Romanian Countries:
- Basarab I (1310-1352) – who obtained the independence of his country
- Nicolae Alexandru (Nicholas Alexander) (1352-1364) – who founded the first Bishopric
- Vlaicu Voda (1364-1377)- who forced King Ludovic I of Anjou to build Bran Castle to defend Transylvania by the invasion of Vlaicu
- Mircea cel Batran (Mircea the Old) (1386-1418) - The single Christian prince who defeated an army lead on the battlefield by the sultan himself
- Iancu de Hunedoara (1440 -1456) - governor of Transylvania and father of king Matyas Defender of Hungary
- Stefan cel Mare (Stephen the Great) (1456-1504) The defender of Christianity in the 15th century against the ottoman Empire
- Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) (1431 -1477)
- Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave) (1593-1601) - The first unifier of the Romanian Countries
- Alexandru Ioan Cuza (1859-1866) - The one who made the „small union“ between Moldova and Romanian Country and was the founder of modern Romania
Of all the great rulers it was only Mircea the Old who had the capacity to halt on May 17-th 1395, the invasion of Turkish troops of BaiazidIldirim (Lighting) on their way to Western Europe, holding them back for at least 20 years. His nephew Vlad Tepes known as Dracula, was a skillful leader famous for his notorious night attack in 1462 against the Ottoman Empire`s army under the command of the conqueror of Constantinopole , Sultan Mohammed II.
For those who do not know the story, in the summer of 1462, Mohammed's army entered Wallachia intending to kill Vlad and place on the throne handsome Radu (a brother of Vlad) and a lover of the Sultan. In a night attack Vlad attacked the Sultan`s camp with only 100 soldiers disguised in the Turks` uniforms, and after unsuccessful attempts to kill the Sultan in his own tent - he was not inside – withdrew from the camp - leaving the Turks to kill each other until morning, because of the confusion.
Taking the others in turn: Iancu of Hunedoara Romanian governor of Transylvania and tireless fighter against Ottoman expansion helped Stefan cel Mare to take the throne of Moldavia in 1457 and to start a glorious chapter in the history of the Romanians.
In the 47 years that he lead Moldova, Stefan not only defeated Muhammad twice (Vaslui in 1475, and in the summer of 1476), but also placed his country among the great European nations.
After the death of Stefan cel Mare in 1504, followed a long period of silence in our military history without many military achievements but more cultural development. Here we are talking about NeagoeBasarab 1512-1521 in Wallachia, and the commandment under which was built the church of the monastery Curtea de Arges.
In 1593 ascends the throne of Wallachia, Michael the Brave, son of Patrascucel Bun. He comes to reign after the historic custom, buying with the money from creditors, the Wallachian throne from the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
After less than 2 months he convened in Bucharest allhis Turskish creditors and burned them, declaring an open war on the Sultan. There followed many actions by the Danube along the Turkish border, attackungs and conquering Turkish fortresses. All these culminated in sending across the Danube, Sinan Pasa in 1595 with a great army to control Wallachia. The battlewas in the swamp around the Neajlov river, close to Bucharest, and ended with Michael’s victory.
There followed a period in which Michael provided political and military support to Prince Sigismund Bathory of Transylvania, when needed for fighting, and to complete his secret plan to unite all Romanians from Transylvania, Wallachia and Moldova into a single powerful state. He passed the Carpathians in 1599 and at Selimbar defeated the armies of Sigismund Bathory entering triumphantly in Alba Iulia, where he was crowned as prince of Transylvania and a few months later in 1600, Moldova surrendered without fighting. For the first time in history, the Romanians were united under the leadership of one man in one country, making Michael the Brave, Prince of Wallachia, Transylvania and of Moldova.
He was assassinated in 1601 because the Emperor of Austria, Rudolf, was not pleased that Transylvania and Wallachia and Moldova could not longer be controlled by him, indirectly, trough the prince of Transylvania.
After 1600, following a difficult period in which the Wallachian army and Romanian rulers almost disappeared, until, in the eighteenth century, they are gradually replaced with those brought from the Greek neighborhood of Istanbul called Fanar.