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Romania ( /romeni/ roh-MAY-nee-; Romanian: Romnia [romni.

a] (

misspelled Rumania,


and formerly also spelled Roumania,




is a unitary semi-presidential

republic located in Southeastern-Central Europe, north of the Balkan Peninsula and on the western
shore of the Black Sea. It borders Hungary, Serbia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Bulgaria. It covers
238,391 square kilometres (92,043 sq mi) and has a temperate-continental climate. With its 20.1
million inhabitants, it is theseventh most populous member of the European Union. Its capital and
largest city, Bucharest, is the sixth largest city in the European Union.
Modern Romania emerged within the territories of the ancient Roman province of Dacia, and was
formed in 1859 through a personal union of the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. The new
state, officially named Romania since 1866, gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1877.
At the end of World War I, Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia united with the
sovereign Kingdom of Romania. At the end of World War II, territories which today roughly
correspond to the Republic of Moldova were occupied by theSoviet Union, and a few years later
Romania became a socialist republic and member of the Warsaw Pact. After the 1989 Revolution,
Romania began a transition back towards democracy and a capitalist market economy.
Following rapid economic growth in the 2000s, Romania has an economy predominantly based on
services, and is a producer and net exporter of machines and electric energy, featuring companies
like Automobile Dacia and OMV Petrom. Living standards have improved, and currently, Romania is
an upper-middle income country with a high Human Development Index. It has been a member
ofNATO since 2004, and part of the European Union since 2007. Around 90% of the population
identify themselves as Eastern Orthodox Christians, and are native speakers of Romanian,
a Romance language. With a rich cultural history, Romania has been the home of
influential artists, musicians, and inventors, and features a variety of tourist attractions.

Main article: Name of Romania
Romania derives from the Latin romanus, meaning "citizen of Rome".[17] The first known use of the
appellation was attested in the 16th-century by Italian humanists travelling in Transylvania, Moldavia,
and Wallachia.[18][19][20][21]

Neacu's letter from 1521, the oldest surviving document written inRomanian.

The oldest surviving document written in Romanian, a 1521 letter known as the "Letter of Neacu
from Cmpulung",[22] is also notable for including the first documented occurrence of the country's
name: Wallachia is mentioned as eara Rumneasc ("The Romanian Land",eara from
the Latin terra, "land"; current spelling: ara Romneasc).
Two spelling forms: romn and rumn were used interchangeably [a] until sociolinguistic
developments in the late 17th century led to semantic differentiation of the two forms: rumncame to
mean "bondsman", while romn retained the original ethnolinguistic meaning.[23] After the abolition
of serfdom in 1746, the word rumn gradually fell out of use and the spelling stabilised to the
form romn.[b] Tudor Vladimirescu, a revolutionary leader of the early 19th century, used the
term Rumnia to refer exclusively to the principality of Wallachia."[24]
The use of the name Romania to refer to the common homeland of all Romaniansits modern-day
meaningis first documented in the early 19th century.[c] The name has been officially in use since
11 December 1861.[25] English-language sources still used the terms Rumania or Roumania, derived
from the French spelling Roumanie and/or the Greek , as recently as World War II,[26] but
the name has since been replaced with the official spelling Romania.[27]

Main article: History of Romania

Early history[edit]
Main articles: Romania in Antiquity, Dacia and Roman Dacia

Roman provinces in the regions now forming Romania in the 2nd century AD

The human remains found in Petera cu Oase ("The Cave of the Bones"), radiocarbon dated as
being from cca. 40,000 years ago, represent the oldest known Homo sapiens in Europe.[28][29]
Prior to the Roman conquest of Dacia, the territories between Danube and Dniester rivers were
inhabited by various Thracian peoples, including the Dacians and the Getae.[30] Herodotus, in his
work "Histories", notes the religious difference between the Getae and other Thracians, [31]however,
according to Strabo, the Dacians and the Getae spoke the same language. [30] Dio Cassius draws
attention to the cultural similarities between the two people.[30] There is a scholarly dispute whether
the Dacians and the Getae were the same people. [32][33]
Roman incursions under Emperor Trajan between 101102 AD and 105106 AD led to result that
about half of the Dacian kingdom became a province of the Roman Empire called "Dacia Traiana".
The Roman rule la

iddle Ages[edit]
Main articles: Origin of the Romanians, Romania in the Early Middle Ages and Romania in the
Middle Ages

The three Romanian principalities of Wallachia, Moldavia, and Transylvania in 1600.

Border animation showing the territorial changes of the Romanian principalities throughout the Middle Ages and
the Modern Age

In the Middle Ages, Romanians lived in three Romanian principalities:Wallachia (Romanian: ara
Romneasc "The Romanian Land"), Moldavia(Romanian: Moldova) and in Transylvania.[47] The
existence of independent Romanian voivodeships in Transylvania as early as the 9th century is
mentioned in Gesta Hungarorum,[48] but by the 11th century, Transylvania had become a largely
autonomous part of the Kingdom of Hungary.[49] In the other parts, many small local states with
varying degrees of independence developed, but only under Basarab I and Bogdan I the larger
principalities ofWallachia and Moldavia would emerge in the 14th century to fight the threat of
the Ottoman Empire.[50][51]
By 1541, as with the entire Balkan peninsula and most of Hungary, Moldavia, Wallachia, and
Transylvania were under Ottoman suzerainty, preserving partial or full internal autonomy until the
mid-19th century (Transylvania until 1711[52]). This period featured several prominent rulers such
as: Stephen the Great,Vasile Lupu, and Dimitrie Cantemir in Moldavia; Matei Basarab, Vlad the
Impaler, and Constantin Brncoveanu in Wallachia; and John Hunyadi and Gabriel
Bethlen in Transylvania.[53] In 1600, the three principalities were ruled simultaneously by
the Wallachian prince Michael the Brave (Mihai Viteazul), which was considered in later periods as
the precursor of a modern Romania and became a point of reference for nationalists, as well as a
catalyst for achieving a single Romanian state.[54]

Independence and monarchy[edit]

Changes in Romania's territory since 1859.

Main articles: Early Modern Romania, National awakening of Romania, United

Principalities, Romanian War of Independence and Kingdom of Romania
During the period of the Austro-Hungarian rule in Transylvania and of Ottoman suzerainty over
Wallachia and Moldavia, most Romanians were given few rights[55] in a territory where they formed
the majority of the population.[56][57] Nationalistic themes became principal during the Wallachian
uprising of 1821, and the 1848 revolutions in Wallachia and Moldavia. The flag adopted for Wallachia
by the revolutionaries was a blue-yellow-red horizontal tricolour (with blue above, in line with the
meaning "Liberty, Justice, Fraternity"),[58] while Romanian students in Paris hailed the new
government with the same flag "as a symbol of union between Moldavians and Wallachians". [59]

The same flag, with the tricolour being mounted vertically, would later be officially adopted as the

national flag of Romania.[61]

After the failed 1848 revolutions not all the Great Powers supported the Romanians' expressed
desire to officially unite in a single state.[62] But in the aftermath of the Crimean War, the electors in
both Moldavia and Wallachia voted in 1859 for the same leader, Alexandru Ioan Cuza,
as Domnitor (prince in Romanian), and the two principalities became a personal union formally
under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire.[63] Following coup d'tat in 1866, Cuza was exiled and
replaced with Prince Carol I of Romania of the House of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. During the
18771878Russo-Turkish War Romania fought on the Russian side,[64] and in the aftermath, it was
recognized as anindependent state both by the Ottoman Empire and the Great Powers by the Treaty
of San Stefano and the Treaty of Berlin.[65][66] The new Kingdom of Romania underwent a period of
stability and progress until 1914, and also acquired Southern Dobruja from Bulgaria after the Second
Balkan War.[67]

World Wars and Greater Romania[edit]

A 1917 British map showing territories with majority Romanian populations.

Romanian dictator Ion Antonescuand Adolf Hitler in Munich (June 1941).

Main articles: Romania during World War I, Greater Romania and Romania during World War II
Romania remained neutral for the first two years o