Roumania Past and Present eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 315 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.

[Footnote 117:  Roesler, p. 156 et seq.]

[Footnote 118:  Roesler, p. 164 et seq.]

[Footnote 119:  Vol. i. p. 20.  Hallam says, in a note loc. cit.:  ’In Italy they inspired such terror that a mass was composed especially deprecating this calamity, “Ab Ungarorum nos defendas jaculis."’]

[Footnote 120:  E. Duller, Geschichte des deutschen Volkes, p. 108.  Leipzig:  Wigand. 1840.]

[Footnote 121:  During their passage across the Carpathians the Hungarians are said to have encountered and reduced to submission a number of petty chiefs and tribes, believed by certain writers to have been the descendants of Daco-Romans who had settled in those mountains many centuries previously.  Amongst them ‘Dukes’ Gellius or Julius, Claudius, and Mariotus are mentioned.  The chronicler of these events is known as the ‘Anonymous Notary of King Bela’ of Hungary, and his narrative is adopted by those modern writers who hold the view that the early princes of Wallachia descended from the Carpathians, whilst other writers, and notably Roesler, who denies that theory, throw discredit upon the whole story, and consider the writings of the ’anonymous notary’ a fabrication.  The bias exhibited by the different historians makes it impossible to arrive at any just conclusion on the subject.]

VI.

In studying the historical records of this time, the reader will frequently encounter the names of two tribes which will cause him considerable perplexity, namely, the Patzinakitai,[122] as they were called by the Greeks, and the Wallachs, who were variously called ‘Vlaci,’ ‘Blaci,’ ‘Valachi,’ ‘Olachi,’ &c.  Of the former little can and need be said.  They are sometimes called Romans; were dominant in certain parts of the country in the tenth, and probably also the eleventh, century; assisted the Bulgari to drive the Hungarians over the Carpathians, and were even strong enough to make war upon the Eastern Empire about the end of the eleventh century.  About that time ineffectual attempts were made to christianise them, and the last we hear of them is at the close of the thirteenth century, when they were associated with the Wallachs in the Carpathians, and probably gave their name to a district in which they were settled.  They are believed, later on, to have migrated into Hungary, and cease to be named as a distinct people.

Concerning the Wallachs, however, who have played a most important part in Roumanian history, a good deal is known, but much is still obscure and the subject of heated controversy.  First as to their origin.  Some writers believe them to have been a branch of the Slaves; others think they were the Daco-Roman colonists of Moesia, who, joining the Slaves, crossed the Danube with them, and that subsequently the fused races were known as Wallachs, who gradually spread themselves northward to the Carpathians.  Other

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