Bibliographic data

Panaitescu, Petre P.: Istoria Românilor. Bucharest: Editura Didactica şi Pedagogica, 1990 [Reprint der Aufl. von 1942], 5–6.

"The influence of geographical location on the history of Romania"

[p. 5]

The influence of the geographical location on the history of Romania

A second introductory question which must be answered is that of the influence of the geographical surroundings on the development on the Romanian nation. This question is made up of two parts: the location of Romania on the map of Europe and, secondly, the structure of the Romanian territory.

With respect to the geographical location of the Romanian nation, we can say that it is situated where the Orient meets Western Europe. This becomes especially clear with regard to its culture.

We are neighbours with Western European peoples: Hungary and Poland, as well as with Eastern European peoples: Bulgarians, Serbs, in the past also Greeks and Turks. This has strongly influenced Romanian civilisation and its history.

The first consequence, which results from this circumstance, is that Romanian culture is a mixed culture with oriental and Western European elements, which can be seen in several traditions. Until recent times, the Eastern, Byzantine and Slavic civilisations were predominant, but in the old organisation of principalities, as well as the style of church buildings, and the style of chronicles, Western influences can be observed alongside Slavic and Byzantine models.

The second consequence of the geographical location was the role as the defender of Christianity and civilisation which the Romanians took on against the Turks. Lying on the border between Europe and the Eastern Turkish and Tatar regions, the Romanian people took on the role of the front most fortress against the enemy. With the Danube, the representative of Romanian territories, Mircea the Ancient, with Transylvania, Ioan Corvin de Hunedoara, with the Vltava and Stefan the Great, we defended European civilisation against Turkish barbarism.

[p. 6]

It must be remarked that this role was not removed after the retreat of the Turks. Today, we are still the watchmen of Eastern barbarism against Europe.

This presents us with a glorious role, mainly because we can actually fulfil it, but it is still no less true, that while Europe was able to develop in peace, to enrich itself culturally and economically, our history was filled with war and destruction. This led to our civilisation developing later than in the West and us only becoming an independent state in recent history. For these reasons, we can say that our geographical location was not exactly fortunate.


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