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> The Romanian principalities and the results of the fight against the Turks, Medieval times
Florin
Posted: November 19, 2012 09:41 pm
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QUOTE (MMM @ November 19, 2012 07:26 am)
..............when the Romanians were fighting more or less with the Othoman Empire, the Western civilization was way more advanced than these Eastern parts. They had some of the biggest cathedrals and they had already begun the Renaissance when the states of Moldova and Walachia were hardly created...

MMM, I am sorry to say, but you do not grasp the whole picture.
The Western countries were able to build bigger cathedrals and had better conditions to refine their civilization exactly because the medieval Romanian kingdoms and others like them were doing the dirty work for the Western Countries and kept the Muslim expansion at bay.
How can you compare our possibilities with theirs?
Oltenia was invaded 80 times between 1500 and 1600. After Moldavia and Wallachia were being forced to pay tribute, this increased steadily, becoming at a certain moment the most important source of income for the Emperor in Istanbul.
For any possible construction project, the financial possibilities were hindered by the tribute to the Ottomans.
After the rule of Vlad Tepes, the Turks FORBADE to Wallachia to build any new fortifications.
Just think that after we finished our ties with the Ottomans (1877), Romania really bloomed and created a modern infrastructure in only few decades, and in those decades those generations changed Bucharest into "The Little Paris".

This post has been edited by Florin on November 19, 2012 09:46 pm
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MMM
Posted: November 20, 2012 06:05 pm
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@Florin: please do the maths! The simple fact that in our territories there were NO CENTRALIZED STATES until the 14-th and 15-th centuries does not have any relevance upon the Muslim advance on the Western states, through the East of Europe - unlike the "moors" across Gibraltar through Spain, half a millenium before!
Wiki would be more than enough to shed some light upon this:
1. Battle of Tours 732
Where (in what tree) were the Romanians then?
2. Gothic Architecture
As you can see, the style begun in 12-th century, as the first huge cathedrals were being started. 1144 or earlier...
3. There is a reason for which the Romanian states were overlooked by the Western historians when it was the question of independent states or nation: the vasality issue, as no matter whether they respected it or not (more of the latter... :P ), there always were some vassality relations between the "Voyvods" and their mightier neighbours (Poland, Hungary, whatever...), written and signed in blood.
We, the Romanians, might like to look upon ourselves with pride, but sure as hell we have to consider the others' views on us. We're not the USA or Russia to "care less" about the others. :(
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udar
Posted: November 21, 2012 11:35 am
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QUOTE
Wiki would be more than enough to shed some light upon this:
1. Battle of Tours 732
Where (in what tree) were the Romanians then?


Just a small comment here, probably as Victor said it will be better to open a new thread, about armies and battles in medieval Europe

Battle of Tours was blown up of proportion (reaching "mythical" one to some western historians) and was more probably just a big raid of Arabs, looking for pillaging north of their newly aquired teritories. It wasnt for sure instrumental for preserving Europe as a free or Christian area, and was maybe just of local importance for Frank kingdom.

In same period the much more important event for Europe was the defend of Constantinopole in front of same Arabs.

About Romanian involvement, we can talk about the battles during the most expansive period of Ottoman empire, under Mohammed II the Conqueror ;)

This post has been edited by udar on November 21, 2012 11:40 am
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MMM
Posted: November 21, 2012 03:09 pm
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udar, this is my last stand in this matter and I will leave all of you with your undoubted and unchallenged knowledge of history, regardless of the fact that I actually studied those things and read about them in college (even got a 9 at the exam - Universal Medieval History, in my second year of college, with a teacher whose passion were... the Arabs!).
The battle (arbitrarily chosen by me, among other battles, I admit that) of Tours was "blown out of proportions" because it was won by the Franks, but have a better look at that:
Islam in red ;)
And then let's admit that a "big raid", in the time when a large part of the future "Hexagon" was already under Arabian rule, wasn't a minor thing!
The "Romanian" involvement in the XIV century... well, there are at least TWO wrong things in here: first, there were no Romanians in 1300+, but Moldavians, Wallachians, perhaps Transylvanians (or whatever they styled themselves back then); second, in the 14-th century, the proto-Romanian states (let's call them this way) were quite new and they were (as this was the initial intention for their "creation") a little more than some "exterior marks" against the Tartars! In those times it is still disputed whether the inhabitants were of Orthodox confession or Roman (aka Catholic)... Much less did we have cultural creations or cathedrals or anything else. We didn't even had the notion of Capital city, because back then the Capital was were the Voyvod was!
PS: Victor, do move this in another topic, please...
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udar
Posted: November 21, 2012 05:32 pm
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QUOTE (MMM @ November 21, 2012 03:09 pm)

Yes, i hope Victor will move this to another topic related with Medieval history. Until then i will answer you here where you started so not spread this all over the forum

QUOTE
udar, this is my last stand in this matter and I will leave all of you with your undoubted and unchallenged knowledge of history, regardless of the fact that I actually studied those things and read about them in college (even got a 9 at the exam - Universal Medieval History, in my second year of college, with a teacher whose passion were... the Arabs!).
The battle (arbitrarily chosen by me, among other battles, I admit that) of Tours was "blown out of proportions" because it was won by the Franks, but have a better look at that:
Islam in red ;)
And then let's admit that a "big raid", in the time when a large part of the future "Hexagon" was already under Arabian rule, wasn't a minor thing!


MMM, i dont know who made that map, i can post you another ones which are clearly different

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Umayyad750ADloc.png
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_e...f_Caliphate.svg

Your may show maybe the areas covered by Arabs raids in France, not the teritory under their control or ocuppation.

As well, quite few modern historians reject the bigger numbers of troops involved and the importance of the battle, especially for Europe as an all. And indeed is laughable to think that the entire Europe and Christianity would fall if Arab raid would prove to be successfull.

In fact just few years after a huge rebellion of Berbers occured in north Africa, drawing the attention of Arabs there. And then not long after the Ummayad caliphate will fall under civil war and will be replaced by a new dinasty, Abbasid. So conquests in Europe was halted and abandoned anyway because of their internal problems.

As i said, the battle against Arabs that wanted to conquer Constantinopole (defeated including with the help of the secret weapon of that time,"Greek fire") few decades before Tours was much more important for Europe

QUOTE
The "Romanian" involvement in the XIV century... well, there are at least TWO wrong things in here: first, there were no Romanians in 1300+, but Moldavians, Wallachians, perhaps Transylvanians (or whatever they styled themselves back then);


First wrong things is you playing with semantics and saying that were no Romanians. Is like saying that wasnt any ancient Greece or Greeks in ancient times and we can talk just about Athenians, Spartans, Thebans or even Macedonians.
Gosh

QUOTE
second, in the 14-th century, the proto-Romanian states (let's call them this way) were quite new and they were (as this was the initial intention for their "creation") a little more than some "exterior marks" against the Tartars!


Second, i mentioned Ottoman expansion phase under Mohamed II, which is XV century, i dont know why you talk about XIV? Or you dont know when Mohamed the Conqeror lived, in such case i understand your mistake as unwanted

QUOTE
In those times it is still disputed whether the inhabitants were of Orthodox confession or Roman (aka Catholic)... Much less did we have cultural creations or cathedrals or anything else. We didn't even had the notion of Capital city, because back then the Capital was were the Voyvod was!


Is still disputed by who, and on which basis? And what that have to do with the blocking the Ottomans and battles we talk about?

About the capital, well, didnt Charlemagne did the same, walking around and moving the capital wherever he set camp? At least for a long period? As far as i know the capital was established soon enough after the kingdoms was established as well and the Domnitors was firmly on charge
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Radub
Posted: November 22, 2012 09:12 am
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QUOTE (udar @ November 21, 2012 05:32 pm)

QUOTE
The "Romanian" involvement in the XIV century... well, there are at least TWO wrong things in here: first, there were no Romanians in 1300+, but Moldavians, Wallachians, perhaps Transylvanians (or whatever they styled themselves back then);


First wrong things is you playing with semantics and saying that were no Romanians. Is like saying that wasnt any ancient Greece or Greeks in ancient times and we can talk just about Athenians, Spartans, Thebans or even Macedonians.
Gosh

This was discussed before ad nauseam. Before the state of "Romania" was created in 1881 (as we understand it today with a single ruler, a single flag, a single capital, a single language) the word "Romania" meaning "offspring of Rome" was used by a multitude of peoples and nations in almost every are of what used to be the Roman Empire. Yeah, the word "Romania" may apear in chronicles, but it did not mean us. For more than 1000 years, "Romania" was another word for Byzantium (which also stretched as far as what we call "Romania" today). Even today one can find such uses of the word meaning "heirs of Rome" in Romagna or the Romansh ethnicity. It is monumentally moronic to claim that we, Romanians, are the ONLY heirs or Rome and when the word "Romanian" is mentioned somewhere, it automatically means us. No matter how much it irks some, MMM is 100% correct when he refers to Wallachian's, Moldovans and... whatever the very many ethnicities called themselves in Transylvania in the 14th century. It is clear, true and logical.
Radu
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udar
Posted: November 22, 2012 12:23 pm
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QUOTE (Radub @ November 22, 2012 09:12 am)

QUOTE
This was discussed before ad nauseam. Before the state of "Romania" was created in 1881 (as we understand it today with a single ruler, a single flag, a single capital, a single language)


So, how was called our country in 1879, how many capitals it has (as you said we have a single one just since 1881) and how many languages Romanians speak before 1881? :D

QUOTE
the word "Romania" meaning "offspring of Rome" was used by a multitude of peoples and nations in almost every are of what used to be the Roman Empire.


Yes, and what i mentioned was the involvement of Romanians during the most vivid expansionist phase of Ottoman empire, under Mohamed teh Conqueror. So, whats your point, beside stating an evidence nobody denied or even mentioned?

QUOTE
Yeah, the word "Romania" may apear in chronicles, but it did not mean us. For more than 1000 years, "Romania" was another word for Byzantium (which also stretched as far as what we call "Romania" today). Even today one can find such uses of the word meaning "heirs of


Was another word of Byzantium used by Byzantium itself (and Turks), not by others.

QUOTE
It is monumentally moronic to claim that we, Romanians, are the ONLY heirs or Rome and when the word "Romanian" is mentioned somewhere, it automatically means us.


I agree, and no one claimed that, so again, whats your point?

QUOTE
No matter how much it irks some, MMM is 100% correct when he refers to Wallachian's, Moldovans and... whatever the very many ethnicities called themselves in Transylvania in the 14th century.


Except that in "scrisoarea lui Neacsu" (1521) is clearly said "Tara Romaneasca" (same as Wallachia) and there are few writings of Italian travelers especially, who mention same thing about the name used by people here.
And i dont think Neacsu is the first to use that name but was well known, including in Transilvania, not to mention that he write in Romanian (excluding the introduction phrases in Slavonic) to Brasov mayor who was of German origin, which imply that the mayor knew the language (or have someone very thrustful around who knew).

When i said "Romanian involvement" in stoping Ottoman expansion under Mohamed II i think it was obvious and common sense for everyone that is about 15 century (i write like this to be more easy understand, i saw "XV" passed unnoticed) battles of Romanian countries - Tara Romaneasca/Wallachia, Moldova and Transilvania vs Ottoman empire.

I repeat, as i see some have a little lack of comprehension, Romanians = medieval ancestors of Romanian people from today Romania

Is similar with talking about ancient Greeks or Hellada etc. when you dont mention all the time just Athena, Sparta, Theba, Macedonia etc.

QUOTE
It is clear, true and logical.

Lol, i hope so
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Radub
Posted: November 22, 2012 12:50 pm
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Udar, just being argumentative about it does not change history. You made your "opinions" about "Romania" clear many times before. You can believe what you want and I will continue to trust the historic truth.
Radu
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udar
Posted: November 22, 2012 01:18 pm
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QUOTE (Radub @ November 22, 2012 12:50 pm)
Udar, just being argumentative about it does not change history. You made your "opinions" about "Romania" clear many times before. You can believe what you want and I will continue to trust the historic truth.
Radu

Good for you Radu, i must applaud :D

However it would be better to know a bit more the historic truth before trust it so much, i remember in a previous discussion you was quite unsure about some parts of this historical period we talk about (something with Stefan cel Mare battles and troops).

This if you want to talk more specific and a bit more detailed then few generalisations and playing sterile (for the subject) semantics who just divert the talk from its purpose
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Radub
Posted: November 22, 2012 02:04 pm
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QUOTE (udar @ November 22, 2012 01:18 pm)
QUOTE (Radub @ November 22, 2012 12:50 pm)
Udar, just being argumentative about it does not change history. You made your "opinions" about "Romania" clear many times before. You can believe what you want and I will continue to trust the historic truth.
Radu

Good for you Radu, i must applaud :D

However it would be better to know a bit more the historic truth before trust it so much, i remember in a previous discussion you was quite unsure about some parts of this historical period we talk about (something with Stefan cel Mare battles and troops).

This if you want to talk more specific and a bit more detailed then few generalisations and playing sterile (for the subject) semantics who just divert the talk from its purpose

Well, if I was wrong in the past, I apologise. I am not perfect, I am still learning. That is why we have discussions on this forum. I learned a lot here just by listening.
But you are convinced that you are right every time. Romanians have a saying about people who have nothing but certainties.
Radu
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MMM
  Posted: November 22, 2012 04:28 pm
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@udar: sorry, the XIV-th century was a typo... I presume everybody knows when Istanbul first appeared on the maps... I was obviously writing about the period of beginings ("Descălecat"), which coincided with the Othman Empire first reaching the Danube line... I did NOT notice the reference to Mohamed II... so I apologize... :unsure:
As for the waltzing through the centuries (see Florin's invasions of Oltenia in the 1500's
Oltenia)
and your "strolling" back and forth through the centuries, I can surely say it is confusing.
What IS your point, then? That the proto-Romanians' fights against the turks helped the Western Europe prospere?
If so, let's open a new thread and "duel" there, because I do NOT agree with such a theory!

This post has been edited by MMM on November 22, 2012 05:08 pm
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ANDREAS
Posted: November 22, 2012 04:59 pm
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For the sake of interesting discussions and hopefully :D contradictory I support MMM's proposal! I commit myself with arguments that although important the Romanian principalities contribution in the defense of West European kingdoms was not decisive! Who strikes first? :P
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contras
Posted: November 22, 2012 08:26 pm
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I really believe that this discution must be moved to another topic. About Romanians before 1300 and their battles, look here, could be interesting:

http://www.cristiannegrea.ro/?p=9

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Florin
Posted: November 23, 2012 06:56 am
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QUOTE (MMM @ November 20, 2012 01:05 pm)
@Florin: please do the maths! The simple fact that in our territories there were NO CENTRALIZED STATES until the 14-th and 15-th centuries does not have any relevance upon the Muslim advance on the Western states, through the East of Europe - unlike the "moors" across Gibraltar through Spain, half a millenium before!
Wiki would be more than enough to shed some light upon this:
1. Battle of Tours 732
Where (in what tree) were the Romanians then?
2. Gothic Architecture
As you can see, the style begun in 12-th century, as the first huge cathedrals were being started. 1144 or earlier...
3. There is a reason for which the Romanian states were overlooked by the Western historians when it was the question of independent states or nation: the vasality issue, as no matter whether they respected it or not (more of the latter...  :P ), there always were some vassality relations between the "Voyvods" and their mightier neighbours (Poland, Hungary, whatever...), written and signed in blood.
We, the Romanians, might like to look upon ourselves with pride, but sure as hell we have to consider the others' views on us. We're not the USA or Russia to "care less" about the others. :(

I did not miss that part of history. I did not address it, because the more details I have to bring in, the more time I have to spend.

In the few generations following Mohammad, Europe was lucky with the Francs that stopped the Muslim advance in the West and with the Byzantine Empire that stopped them in the East. The Arabs sieged Constantinople twice – first in 674–678, then in 717–718. They failed in both occasions. The Byzantine Empire lost land, but it survived. The Arabs lost momentum and in the following centuries they barely consolidated the original gains.
As you wrote, many cathedrals in Europe were built in the XIth…XIIIth Centuries, before the Middle Ages Romanian kingdoms started their existence. Those were good times for Western Europe: Warmer climate allowed planting grape in Great Britain and wheat (or rye?) in Greenland. In peaceful times between Crusades a profitable commerce was flourishing between the Muslim kingdoms and Europe. Moreover, the Vikings stopped their invasions after the XIth Century.
Fortunately for Europe, many Muslim kingdoms and empires suffered a mortal blow during the Mongol invasion of the early XIIIth century. Few Muslim cities with one million people each were destroyed, never to reborn to life. The Mongol invasion of 1241 was bad for Europe as well, but it did not equal the magnitude of destruction caused to the Muslim world in 1218-1220.
Unfortunately for Europe, the Ottomans started to pour into what is today Turkey in the XIIIth Century.
Under a succession of competent rulers, it looks like nothing could stop their momentum. In the XIVth Century they got a row of victories, conquering the Bulgarians, the Serbs, the Albanians and most of the land of the Byzantine Empire.
Their first real defeat at Rovine (1394) was much more important than an internal matter of Wallachia.
In that moment the rest of Europe was very weak indeed. It was in the aftermath of The Black Death (The Great Plague), that killed 60 percent of Europe's population. In the same time the climate started to cool and the survivors of The Great Plague were trying to survive to "The Little Ice Age". Two years after Wallachia alone defeated the Ottoman Empire, the whole united Europe was defeated by the Ottoman Empire.
Then Timur Lenk made good deed indeed: he crashed 3 Muslim empires, even though he was himself a Muslim. Among the victims, the Ottoman Empire, after one of the greatest battles in history (Ankara, 1402). The Ottoman Empire lost the unstoppable momentum and did not resume conquest attempts for few decades.
Then their main offensive attempts were against Wallachia and Moldavia, who kept the Ottomans busy until early 1500’s. While our ancestors were keeping the Turks at bay (occasionally in collaboration with the Hungarian Kingdom), the Italian Renaissance was in full bloom – Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the rest of the package. After Wallachia and Moldavia got too tired to fight with a giant, things started to roll again in favor of the Turks. The Hungarian Kingdom was conquered (1526), Vienna was sieged in 1529, then the Italian republics and kingdoms were under direct attack from the Ottoman Empire. Combined with being a battleground in the fight between France and the Spanish Empire, the Italian states started to plunge into a downward spiral, never to recover to their former glory.
So, "MMM":
1. The Battle of Rovine broke the Ottoman momentum of invincibility.
2. Because the Romanian kingdoms kept the Ottomans busy for more than one century, the Turkish attacks against the Italian states started after the peak of the Renaissance, not before it.

There is just one reason to consider that the contribution of the Romanian kingdoms was not decisive in defending Europe. The Western Europeans were fighting each other as long the Turks were far away. When the Turks were "at the gates", they quickly forged alliances – successful many times.
A notable exception: King Francisc I of France signed alliance treaty with Suleiman the Magnificent, labeled by many contemporary as treason against the Catholic world.

P.S: Andreas, it looks like I was the first to strike.

This post has been edited by Florin on November 23, 2012 07:25 am
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Imperialist
Posted: November 23, 2012 12:24 pm
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QUOTE (MMM @ November 21, 2012 03:09 pm)
The "Romanian" involvement in the XIV century... well, there are at least TWO wrong things in here: first, there were no Romanians in 1300+, but Moldavians, Wallachians, perhaps Transylvanians (or whatever they styled themselves back then); second, in the 14-th century, the proto-Romanian states (let's call them this way) were quite new and they were (as this was the initial intention for their "creation") a little more than some "exterior marks" against the Tartars!

Saying that there were no Romanians in 1300+ is only partially correct, and is misleading. The fact that they perceived their ethnicity based on how ethnicity was perceived in the Middle Ages doesn't mean we should adopt that same Middle Age-era perception when talking about them. We can call them Romanians because we know they were, no matter whether they fully understood that or politically acted on it or not during that era.

As for the whole "we saved the West" debate, I think it is an exaggeration like you and others pointed out. On the other hand we shouldn't fall in the other extreme and completely dismiss the fact that by resisting we did help slow down Ottoman expansion for a defined period in time and our development was affected.
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