Libmonster ID: KZ-2351
Author(s) of the publication: Iorgu JORDAN

The question of the origin of the Romanian people has two aspects: one-ethnic, the second-geographical. Both of them are closely related and equally interesting.

Since we are talking about facts that took place a very long time ago, it is almost impossible to do without the help of hypotheses when studying this issue. All researchers of this question, with a few exceptions, both Romanian and foreign, were guided by clearly subjective criteria when constructing their hypotheses about the origin of Romanians.

As for the statements of Romanian historians, it can be said that the older the period they study, the more strongly individual and national subjectivism appears in them; and this is quite natural, since only in later periods does an abundance of documentation appear and ways of using it for scientific purposes are improved.

The degree of subjectivity also depends on where these researchers lived and worked. For example, political tendencies are more pronounced among Transylvanians than among scholars of old Romania. Especially noteworthy is the monumental work of the famous Iasi philologist Alexander Filippide "The Origin of Romanians", published 20 years ago, which can be considered the best work in this field due to the author's strictly scientific attitude in the study of this problem, where deviations of a national-subjective nature are almost inevitable. Let us briefly consider the various opinions about the ethnic and geographical origin of Romanians.

For a very long time - from the old chronicler Grigore Ureche to the present day - Romanians proudly called themselves the true heirs of the Romans. The development of this theory reached its climax at the beginning of the 19th century, when the Transylvanian school launched a broad journalistic activity in the field of philology and national history. This activity was continued in the first half of the 19th century by representatives of the Latin movement. Proponents of this theory argued that the Dacians were all destroyed when they were conquered by the Romans, and that, therefore, the ancestors of the Romanians were colonists who were resettled by Trajan from different parts of the Roman Empire, primarily from Italy.

This theory has long prevailed in the Romanian Academy, which was dominated by Transylvanians and Latinists, and in school circles, which in matters of national doctrine always obeyed academic guidelines.

This gave birth to a nationalist trend, sometimes reaching the point of chauvinism, which manifested itself especially in cases where it was necessary to emphasize the" nobility " of the people or impress "enemies from an inferior race" who sought to seize or own our ancestral lands. Bolinbinyanets 'absurd and comical verse -" noble is he who is called a Romanian " - became the slogan of this trend. Propaganda about the racial superiority of Romanians over other peoples, especially Hungarians, carried out by unscrupulous people.

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It has created a hostile and even hateful atmosphere in intellectual circles, which has made it impossible to reach any understanding with neighboring nationalities. Remnants of this agitation have been preserved until recently and appeared when the part of Transylvania that was captured by the Nazis was returned to us.

Nevertheless, we must admit that the idea of pure Latinism has also produced some good social results. Pride in "noble ancestry" made Transylvanian Romanians fight for political rights, which had nothing to do with chauvinistic nationalism. They were deprived of their political rights by privileged nations, not only as a "lower" nation, but also as a social class at the lowest rung of the social ladder.

This is the only way to explain the socio-economic significance of the political struggle that preceded the revolutionary movement of 1848. The movement of 1848 is largely of the same character: the Romanians wanted to rise higher as an exploited and oppressed social class. This is how we should understand a poet like Octavian Goga, who in his poems laments the sufferings of serfs more than the sufferings of Romanians as such.

After the First World War, the opinion of our national circles changed significantly. From the claim of a purely Roman origin of the Romanian people, they move on to the exact opposite. Romanians, according to these circles, are no longer descendants of the "noble" Romans, but are Thracians. True, this theory was not supported by the most famous historians and philologists, but many of them had a clear desire to discover in our people ethnic and linguistic features of Thracian origin, and this theory spread like a real epidemic among people who influence public opinion-journalists, writers, artists.

A book by N. Densuleanu, which has no scientific value, was dug up from somewhere, and the most incredible statements were made from it. They went so far in their phracomania that they even denied to some extent the Latin origin of our language. They explained the similarity between Latin and Romanian not by the fact that the Romanian language is derived from Latin, but on the contrary! And such characteristic features of the people! as bravery, fearlessness, and generosity, we certainly inherited from the Thracians, of whom Herodotus speaks so highly, the proponents of this theory argued.

The spread of theories of this kind, the inevitable products of nationalist ignorance and obscurantism, went hand in hand with the agitation that led us to cuzism, legionarism, and Antonescu. Reactionaries always need the muddy waters of irrationalism and mysticism to use their most primitive instincts for political purposes.

The creation of this reactionary theory was also facilitated by Fascist propaganda under the form of German national Socialism: the idea of the purity of race, and therefore its superiority, is one of the fabrications of Hitler's propaganda, which even resorted to the help of religion. In order to feel truly Teutonic, they found it necessary to go far back, to the gloomy forests where Wotan and other deities dominated.

What conclusion can be drawn from all of the above? The conclusion is that we are not pure Romans, just as we are not pure Dacians or Thracians. The latter were more involved in the creation of the Romanian people than the Romans, just as the French are more descended from the Celts than from the Romans. But this does not make it possible to speak of a purely Thracian origin for the Romanians, just as no one speaks of a purely Celtic origin for the French.

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In the areas of Eastern Europe, where our ancestors come from, a huge number of peoples lived for centuries. Many peoples passed through these areas. Alexandru Filippide calculated, based on established historical data, that there were up to three hundred such peoples.

If we add to this number those who later came and lived in our neighborhood or among us, then everyone will understand that there can be no question of racial purity of the Romanian people.

We just need to abandon both Latinomania, as Kogylnichyants said, and Frac-mania, and realize that, just like other peoples, we are the product of a very complex ethnic mix that has been going on for a very long time and continues to happen today. Such an interpretation of the issue will be a very valuable contribution to the cause of better understanding not only among the nationalities of our country, but also with all peoples.


Turning to the explanation of the origin of Romanians from the geographical point of view, we find the same theories. When the Latinists claimed that our people were formed on the northern bank of the Danube, i.e., in present-day Romania, they meant that only we should be the owners of these lands. A lot of paper was written both by us and the Hungarians on the question of Transylvania. I do not think it is necessary to dwell on this issue for a long time, which is more related to politics than to science. One thing is clear: the Romanian people were formed both in the north and in the south of the Danube. It is also clear that by evacuating Dacia, the Romans were not able to remove the entire population, and therefore most of them moved to more remote areas, where they lived until the establishment of Hungarian power there.

It follows that our historical rights to Transylvania are older and more legitimate than those of Hungary. These rights are also confirmed by the fact that the number of Romanians in this province exceeds the number of all other nationalities combined. As a result, Transylvania was returned to Romania. Fortunately, peoples ' rights to their territories are now based on their integrity, their determination to live and work in cooperation with other peoples, and their ability to fight for the good of humanity and civilization.

This question has been tried and is being interpreted differently by some "scholars" who link the question of our rights to Transylvania with the question of the Germans living there and the lexical influence of the German language on Romanian. A prominent representative of this group is the "old friend" of the Romanian people, Mr. Ernst Gamilschegh, former director of the German Institute of Sciences in Bucharest, who enjoyed great influence during the Antonescu regime.

My intention is to clarify, in the spirit of the present, my attitude to the question of the origin of the Rumanian people, rather than to find out to what extent this question has been resolved, although I have indirectly pointed out the obstacles that prevent its resolution. It is only necessary to remember that those who are guided by political considerations in scientific research cannot produce serious historical works. At best, he will be able to get the noisy approval of his contemporaries. It is necessary to abandon both in science and in civil life the chauvinism that prevailed "with some exceptions" among our historians and philologists. The study of scientific problems must be readjusted in the spirit that has permeated us since August 23, 1944, and which in the near future should become dominant throughout the world.


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