SNAG-0007.jpgMaterial finds attest to man’s existence on present-day Romania’s territory as far back as 2 million years. The originality of the cultural areas, related to the other European pre-historical cultures, can be seen in the art of pottery (painted earthenware, clay statuettes such as the famous “Thinker” of Hamangia-Cernavoda). The Tartaria clay tables (incised pictographic motifs) testify to an early archaic writing – among the first in Europe – around 4000 B.C., contemporary with the Sumerian writing. 

The descendants of those ancient civilizations were the Geto-Dacians, who in the 1st century B.C. founded the powerful Kingdom of Dacia with its political and religious center at Sarmizegetusa, in present-day Transylvania. In the early 2nd century A.D., the Roman imperial armies led by Emperor Trajan conquered Dacia (A.D. 106), turned it into a Roman province and colonized it with Roman and Romanized people. Thus the Geto-Dacians got Romanized and the ethnogenesis of the Romanian people wascompleted in the 7th century.

Concurrently with Romanization, Christianization took place, through evangelization both by one of the apostles of Jesus, St. Andrew, and by the holy fathers that took refuge in or crossed the Romanian lands.

State organization, attested to in writing, goes back to the early 10th century, when feudal bodies politic preceding the big Romanian feudal states are documented. The pre-state bodies in Transylvania were ruled by dukes, princes or voivodes like Gelu, Glad, Menumorut, Ahtum, and by jupani or voivodes in Moldavia, Wallachia and Dobruja: Dimitrie, Gheorghe, Sestlav, Satza, Roman, a.o. (11th-12th centuries). In the 13th century, the principality of Transylvania became part of the Hungarian Crown until 1526 when the kingdom of Hungary disappeared as a state entity. In the 14th century, south of the Carpathians, Basarab I (1324-1352) unified the existing bodies politic into the Principality of Wallachia, while Bogdan I(1359-1365) founded the Principality of Moldavia.