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Roumania Past and Present eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 315 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.
Gepidae ally themselves with the Byzantines—­Defeated by the Lombards under Alboin—­The Avari—­Settle in Dacia—­Are defeated and dispersed by Priscus and Heraclius—­The Bulgari—­Their origin and that of the Slavonians—­Their cruelty—­Warlike habits—­Severe punishment of criminals—­Superstitions—­Their ‘Chagan,’ or chief rider—­Conversion to Christianity—­Their chieftains—­Improved habits—­Curious superstitions—­Career of the Bulgari—­Invasion of the Eastern Empire and defeat by Belisarius—­Supreme in Dacia, Moesia, and Servia—­Vicissitudes—­Story of Krumus—­Daco-Roman princes—­The Bulgarian territories annexed by Basilius to the Greek Empire—­The Ungri, or Hungarians—­Their supposed origin—­Their cruelty and ferocity—­Hallam’s description of them—­German account of their savage mode of warfare—­Ravage Europe—­Settle in Hungary and found a kingdom—­Are driven over the Carpathians by the Bulgari—­(Note:  Story of their contests with the chiefs Gellius, Gladius, Mariotus, &c,—­The anonymous notary of King Bela)—­The Patzinakitai—­Scanty records concerning them—­The Wallachs—­Controversy regarding their origin—­Daco-Roman descendants—­Mediaeval accounts of their origin and character—­Anna Comnena—­Bonfinius—­AEneas Sylvius—­M.  Opitz—­Their career in the Danubian territories—­Revolt in alliance with the Bulgari—­Foundation of the Wallacho-Bulgarian Empire by Peter, Asan, and John—­The historical soufflet—­Recognition of the new empire—­Its duration—­The Kumani—­Their domination—­The Teutonic Knights and Knights of St. John—­Interesting correspondence between King Joannitz and Pope Innocent III.—­Temporary conversion of the Bulgarians to Rome—­Downfall of the Wallacho-Bulgarian Empire—­Irruptions and retirement of the Tartars—­End of the barbarian age.

I.

If the reader will imagine a country somewhat larger than the United Kingdom situated in a part of the European continent which renders it accessible from almost every side, and can conceive of eight or nine great hordes of armed savages tens or hundreds of thousands strong, with many smaller ones, pouring intermittently, and even simultaneously in some instances, into that devoted territory, and there alternately burning and plundering or making slaves of each other or of the original settlers, during a continuous period of more than a thousand years, then he will have formed some idea of poor Roumania (or perhaps it would be more correct to say of the territories north and south of the lower Danube) as it existed between the end of the third and of the thirteenth centuries.

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