Place:Transilvania, Romania

Alt namesTransylvania
Ardealsource: Family History Library Catalog
Erdélysource: Family History Library Catalog
Erdélysource: Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1988) p 1225
Siebenbürgensource: Family History Library Catalog
Siebenbürgensource: BHA, Authority file (2003-)
Transylvaniasource: Columbia Encyclopedia (1975); Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer (1961); Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1988) p 1225
Transylvaniesource: BHA, Authority file (2003-)
Transylvaniësource: Engels Woordenboek (1987) V.1, page 785
Located inRomania     (1918 - )
Also located inAustria     (1750 - 1867)
Hungary     (1867 - 1918)
See alsoErdély, Hungary
Siebenbürgen, Austria
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Transylvania ( or ; ; ) is a historical region in central Romania. To the east and south its natural border is the Carpathian Mountains, and to the west the Apuseni Mountains. Broader definitions of Transylvania also encompass the western and north-western Romanian regions Crișana and Maramureș and occasionally Banat.

Transylvania is known for both the scenery of its Carpathian landscape and its rich history. It also contains Romania's fourth-largest city, Cluj-Napoca, as well as other iconic cities and towns such as Brașov, Sibiu, Târgu Mureș, Alba Iulia and Sighișoara. Transylvania is also the home of some of Romania's UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Villages with fortified churches, the Historic Centre of Sighișoara, the Dacian Fortresses of the Orăștie Mountains and the Roșia Montană Mining Cultural Landscape.

It was under the rule Agathyrsi, part of the Dacian Kingdom (2nd century BC–2nd century AD), Roman Dacia (2nd–3rd centuries), the Hunnic Empire (4th–5th centuries), the Kingdom of the Gepids (5th–6th centuries), the Avar Khaganate (6th–9th centuries), the 9th century First Bulgarian Empire and possibly the Romanian duke Gelou in the late 9th century. During the Middle Ages, Transylvania became part of the Kingdom of Hungary. After the Battle of Mohács in 1526, Transylvania emerged as a principality; ruled by Hungarian princes. In 1599, Michael the Brave briefly became Prince of Wallachia, Prince of Transylvania and Prince of Moldavia, but was assassinated in 1601 and Transylvania returned to Hungarian rule. During most of the 16th and 17th centuries, it was a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire, however, the principality had dual suzerainty (Ottoman and Habsburg). In 1690, the Habsburg monarchy gained possession of Transylvania through the Hungarian crown. After 1711 Habsburg control of Transylvania was consolidated, and Transylvanian princes were replaced with Habsburg imperial governors. After the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, the separate status of Transylvania ceased, it was incorporated again into the Kingdom of Hungary (Transleithania) as part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. After World War I, Transylvania became part of the Kingdom of Romania by the Treaty of Trianon in 1920. In 1940 Northern Transylvania reverted to Hungary as a result of the Second Vienna Award, but it was reclaimed by Romania after the end of World War II.

In popular culture, Transylvania is commonly associated with vampires because of the influence of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula and subsequent books and many films that have been inspired by the tale.

Historical flag and coat of arms of Transylvania

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Transylvania has been dominated by several different peoples and countries throughout its history. It was once the nucleus of the Kingdom of Dacia (82 BC106 AD). In 106 AD the Roman Empire conquered the territory, systematically exploiting its resources. After the Roman legions withdrew in 271 AD, it was overrun by a succession of various tribes, bringing it under the control of the Carpi, Visigoths, Huns, Gepids, Avars, and Slavs.

The first record of Vlach-Romanian settlements of Transylvania in the Byzantine age can be found in the writings of Procopius, in the 5th century: the forts named Skeptekasas (Seven Houses), Burgulatu (Broad City), Lοupofantana λουpoφαντάνα (Wolf's Well) and Gemellomountes Γεμελλομούντεs (Twin mountains).

In 586, the first written record of their name and their language appears in a Byzantine chronicle about an incursion against the Avars in the Eastern Balkans. When the baggage of a mule slips, the muleteer shouts "Torna, torna, fratre" (Return, return, brother!), although it might just be the last appearance of Latin. Blachernae, the suburb of Constantinople was named after a "Scythian" Duke Blachernos, whose name is believed to be linked with the name of "Blachs" (Vlachs).

In the 9th century Bulgarians ruled Transylvania. It is a subject of dispute whether elements of the mixed Daco–Roman population survived in Transylvania through the post-classical era becoming the ancestors of modern Romanians, the Daco-Roman Continuity Theory mainly accepted in Romanian histography, or the first Vlachs/Romanians appeared in the area in the 13th century after a northward migration from the Balkan Peninsula, the Immigrationist theory mainly accepted in Hungarian histography. There is an ongoing scholarly debate over the ethnicity of Transylvania's population before the Hungarian conquest (see Origin of the Romanians).

During the late 9th century, Transylvania was reached and conquered by the Hungarian conquerors. Hungarian medieval chronicles claimed that the Székely people descended of the Huns who remained in Transylvania, and later allying with the Hungarians conquered together the Carpathian Basin. According to Gesta Hungarorum, the Vlach/Romanian (Blacorum, Blacus) voivode Gelou ruled part of Transylvania before the Hungarians arrived and conquered Gelou's duchy, historians debate whether Gelou was a historical person or an imaginary figure. Gyula's family from seven chieftains of the Hungarians ruled Transylvania in the 10th century. King Stephen I of Hungary asserted his claim to rule all lands dominated by Hungarian lords, he personally led his army against his maternal uncle Gyula III and Transylvania became part of the Kingdom of Hungary in 1002.[1] Some historians assert Transylvania was settled by Hungarians in several stages between the 10th and 13th centuries, while others claim that it was already settled, since the earliest Hungarian artifacts found in the region are dated to the first half of the 10th century. Place names derived from the Hungarian tribes evidence that major Hungarian groups settled in Transylvania from the 950s. After the Battle of Kosovo and Ottoman arrival at the Hungarian border, thousands of Vlach and Serbian refugees came to Transylvania. Nevertheless, Romanians constitued a large part of Transylvania's population even on the eve of the Mongol Invasions in 1241, being possibly 66% of the population.

Between 1003 and 1526, Transylvania was a voivodeship in the Kingdom of Hungary, led by a voivode appointed by the king of Hungary. After the Battle of Mohács in 1526, Transylvania became part of the Eastern Hungarian Kingdom. Later, in 1570, the kingdom transformed into the Principality of Transylvania, which was ruled primarily by Calvinist Hungarian princes. During that time, the ethnic composition of Transylvania was estimated in Antun Vrančić's work, but according to how the original text was translated by Romanian or Hungarian scholars, there are two different variants of interpretations. According to the Romanian interpretations, Antun Vrančić wrote that Transylvania "is inhabited by three nations – Székelys, Hungarians and Saxons; I should also add the Romanians who – even though they easily equal the others in number – have no liberties, no nobility and no rights of their own, except for a small number living in the District of Hátszeg, where it is believed that the capital of Decebalus lay, and who were made nobles during the time of John Hunyadi, a native of that place, because they always took part tirelessly in the battles against the Ottomans", while according to the Hungarian interpretations the translation of the first part of the sentence would be "...I should also add the Romanians who – even though they easily equal any of the others in number...". In 1574, Pierre Lescalopier asserted that most of the inhabitants of Transylvania were Romanians. In Letopisețul Țării Moldovei (1642 - 1647), the Moldavian chronicler Grigore Ureche writes that Transylvania is "more filled with Romanians than with Hungarians". In 1650, Vasile Lupu wrote in a letter to the Sultan that the Romanians numbered more than one-third of the population of Transylvania. For most of this period, Transylvania, maintaining its internal autonomy, was under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire.

In Hungarian histography, the original population of Hungarians during the Hungarian conquest was of about 500.000 people and they were always the ethnic majority in Transylvania until around 1650 - 1750 when the Romanians became the majority due to migrations from Wallachia and Moldavia. This is largely based on one numeric figure survived belonging to Dzaihani, who gave accounts as to how the Hungarian chief would call to arms 20.000 warriors and assuming that the effort of 4-5 families was necessary for maintaining 1 armed warrior. While the Hungarian ethnic majority argument is based mainly on the name of the villages that appear on documents since the end of the 13th century. By contrast, in Romanian histography, the original number of Hungarians during the Hungarian conquest was of about 100.000 - 150.000 people in the most optimisitc estimations and the Romanians were always the ethnic majority in Transylvania including before the Hungarian conquest as the Hungarians conquered Transylvania from the Romanian duke Gelou. This is largely based on pointing out the exaggeration in the Hungarian estimation, that 1 steppe warrior needed 4-5 families to support him, this being very uncharacteristic of the steppe culture where each and every able man was a warrior, for example Genghis Khan's Mongolia had an army of about 130.000 men and a population of about 800.000 people. While the Romanian ethnic majority argument is based mainly on the written estimations of contemporaries, the counter-argument that the villages that appear named on documents are not representative of all the villages of Transylvania and that there were less than 1000 Catholic parishes in Transylvania yet the number of total settlements was about 2600, this must mean according to Romanian histography that the 1600 villages without Catholic parishes were populated by Orthodox Romanians.

In response to the Hungarian histograpgy's argument that only between 1650 - 1750 the Romanians became the majority, the Romanian histography argues that no contemporary sources exist to confirm such a thing, either a large-scale migration of Romanians into Transylvania or an ethnic Hungarian majority in Transylvania prior to 1650, and that the Austrian fiscal conscription form 1750 includes a table with the number of villages with Hungarian, German or Romanian majority: 1401 Romanian villages (58%), 807 Hungarian villages (33%) and 222 German villages (9%) out of a total of 2430 villages and cities, where they counted only the local population towars the ethic majority, and not the new-comers, as the fiscal conscription had separate sections for locals and new-comers. Had the Romanians been immigrants from Wallachia and Moldavia, they would have been listed as "new-comers" and would not have been taken into account in determining the ethnic majority of Transylvanian villages and cities. The Romanian histography further argues that migrations happened both ways and were of small scales, not enough to influence the ethnic character of the region, as shown by the Austrian fiscal conscription form 1750, with even Emperor Joseph II pointing out in 1773 that "these poor Romanian subjects, who are, without doubt, the oldest and most numerous inhabitants of Transylvania, are tortured and impoverished with injustices from everyone, be it Hungarian, be it German, so much that that indeed, when you know their fate it's very sad and it's a wonder that so many are still here and they didn't all ran away". And that in the Middle Ages, nobody has thought about putting to question if indeed the Romanians were the natives and the absolute majority of Transylvania. It was only at the end of the 18th century, when the Romanian elite in Transylvania requested to receive political rights equal to those of the Hungarians and the Germans, arguing that the Romanians were the oldest and most numerous population of Transylvania, that Hungarian and German historians reflecting the interests of the ruling powers in Transylvania started to question whether the Romanians were indeed the natives and the numerous population in the Middle Ages, developing the Rosler theory in 1871, later knwon as the Immigrationist theory.[2]

The Habsburgs acquired the territory shortly after the Battle of Vienna in 1683. In 1687, the rulers of Transylvania recognized the suzerainty of the Habsburg emperor Leopold I, and the region was officially attached to the Habsburg Empire. The Habsburgs acknowledged Principality of Transylvania as one of the Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen, but the territory of principality was administratively separated from Habsburg Hungary and subjected to the direct rule of the emperor's governors. In 1699 the Ottomans legally acknowledged their loss of Transylvania in the Treaty of Karlowitz; however, some anti-Habsburg elements within the principality submitted to the emperor only in the 1711 Peace of Szatmár, and Habsburg control over Principality of Transylvania was consolidated. The Grand Principality of Transylvania was reintroduced 54 years later in 1765.

The Hungarian revolution against the Habsburgs started in 1848. The revolution in the Kingdom of Hungary grew into a war for the total independence from the Habsburg dynasty. Julius Jacob von Haynau, the leader of the Austrian army was appointed plenipotentiary to restore order in Hungary after the conflict. He ordered the execution of The 13 Hungarian Martyrs of Arad and Prime Minister Batthyány was executed the same day in Pest. After a series of serious Austrian defeats in 1849, the empire came close to the brink of collapse. Thus, the new young emperor Franz Joseph I had to call for Russian help in the name of the Holy Alliance. Czar Nicholas, I answered, and sent 200,000 men strong army with 80,000 auxiliary forces. Finally, the joint army of Russian and Austrian forces defeated the Hungarian forces. After the restoration of Habsburg power, Hungary was placed under martial law. Following the Hungarian Army's surrender at Világos (now Șiria, Romania) in 1849, their revolutionary banners were taken to Russia by the Tsarist troops and were kept there both under the Tsarist and Communist systems (in 1940 the Soviet Union offered the banners to the Horthy government).

The Romanian population was generally supportive of the Hungarian revolution until the Hungarians made the incorporation of Transylvania into Hungary as one of their war aims. As reactionary sentiments started to emerge, the Romanian lawyer Avram Iancu rallied the peasants around him and pledged his allegiance to the Habsburg in hopes of cultural and political rights. Leading a military campaign in Transylvania against the Hungarians, he received the nickname Crăișorul Munților ("The Prince of the Mountains"). Although the Habsburgs refused to create an autonomus regions for Romanians consisting of Banat, Transylvania and Bukovina out of fear of replacing Hungarian nationalism with Romanian nationalism, numerous Romanian administrative offices were created in Transylvania and they were granted numerous liberties and rights.

After the Ausgleich of 1867, the Principality of Transylvania was once again abolished. The territory then became part of Transleithania,[1][3] an addition to the newly established Austro-Hungarian Empire. Romanian intellectuals issued the Blaj Pronouncement in protest.

The region was the site of an important battle during World War I, which caused the replacement of the German Chief of Staff, temporarily ceased German offensives on all the other fronts and created a unified Central Powers command under the German Kaiser. Following defeat in World War I, Austria-Hungary disintegrated. Elected representatives of the ethnic Romanians from Transylvania, Banat, Crișana and Maramureș backed by the mobilization of Romanian troops, proclaimed Union with Romania on 1 December 1918. The Proclamation of Union of Alba Iulia was adopted by the Deputies of the Romanians from Transylvania and supported one month later by the vote of the Deputies of the Saxons from Transylvania.

In Austria-Hungary, ethnic Romanians entered the war from the very beginning, with hundreds of thousands of Transylvanian and Bukovinian Romanians being mobilized throughout the war. Although most Transylvanian Romanians were loyal to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, over time, reactionary sentiments emerged, especially after Romania joined the war in 1916. Many of the previously loyal soldiers decided that it was much better to risk their lives through desertion, rather than shoot their ethnical conationals. According to studies made by the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the dedication of the Romanian military to the interest of Austria-Hungary was reduced, only ethnic Italians of the same empire can compete with them for the last place in a ranking according to devotion to the state per 100 soldiers. By 1917, out of about 300,000 Austro-Hungarian deserters, 150.000 were ethnic Romanians. Sometimes the desertion of Romanians in the Austro-Hungarian army would cause failures on entire sectors, significantly affecting the Austro-Hungarian military units in terms of their structure and firepower.

The Austro-Hungarian Romanian prisoners of war in the Russian Empire would eventually form the Romanian Volunteer Corps in Russia who would eventually be repatriated to Romania in 1917 and take part in the battles of Mărăști, Mărășești and Oituz and the Romanian Legion in Siberia who resisted the Bolsheviks in cooperation with the Czechoslovak Legion and the White movement during the Russian Civil War, these units were ultimately repatriated to Greater Romania in 1920. While the Austro-Hungarian Romanian prisoners of war in Italy would form the Romanian Volunteer Legion from Italy, which joined the fighting during the last battles on the Italian front and later, after the end of the war, participated in the Hungarian-Romanian War. Out of a total of 60.000 prisoners of war of Romanian origin, 37.000 Romanians requested to join the Romanian Legion in Italy.[4] The ranks of the Austro-Hungarian soldiers enlisted in the Romanian Legion were equivalated to those corresponding of the Italian Royal Army. The sedentary part of the Romanian Legion, under the command of Colonel Camillo Ferraioli, was established at Albano Laziale, and the base camp in the Avezzano camp.

It is estimated that in the period 1914–1918 between 400,000 and 600,000 soldiers of Romanian origin fought on different fronts of Austria-Hungary, which represented a significant percentage of the Romanian ethnics who lived in those times in the Empire. In total, up to 150,000 Romanians were killed in action while fighting as part of the Austro-Hungarian Army.[5]

The national holiday of Romania, the Great Union Day (also called Unification Day) occurring on December 1, celebrates this event. The holiday was established after the Romanian Revolution, and marks the unification not only of Transylvania but also of the provinces of Banat, Bessarabia and Bukovina with the Romanian Kingdom. These other provinces had all joined with the Kingdom of Romania a few months earlier. In 1920, the Treaty of Trianon established new borders, much of the proclaimed territories became part of Romania. Hungary protested against the new state borders, as they did not follow the real ethnic boundaries, for over 1.3 or 1.6 million Hungarian people, representing 25.5 or 31.6% of the Transylvanian population (depending on statistics used), were living on the Romanian side of the border, mainly in the Székely Land of Eastern Transylvania, and along the newly created border.

In August 1940, by the Second Vienna Award, with the arbitration of Germany and Italy, Hungary gained Northern Transylvania (including parts of Crișana and Maramureș) totaling over 40% of the territory lost in 1920. This award did not solve the nationality problem, as over 1.15–1.3 million Romanians (or 48% to more than 50% of the population of the ceded territory) remained in Northern Transylvania while 0.36–0.8 million Hungarians (or 11% to more than 20% of the population) continued to reside in Southern Transylvania. The Second Vienna Award was voided on 12 September 1944 by the Allied Commission through the Armistice Agreement with Romania (Article 19); and the 1947 Treaty of Paris reaffirmed the borders between Romania and Hungary, as originally defined in the Treaty of Trianon, 27 years earlier, thus confirming the return of Northern Transylvania to Romania.

From 1947 to 1989, Transylvania, along with the rest of Romania, was under a communist regime. The ethnic clashes of Târgu Mureș occurred between ethnic Romanians and Hungarians in March 1990 after the fall of the communist regime and became the most notable inter-ethnic incident in the post-communist era.

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