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Christian Cult Places in Transylvania

































                                                                                                                    KERESZTÉNY KULTUSZHELYEK ERDÉLYBEN


(ISBN 963 322‑000‑000)


























I. The Foundation of Christianity, Cultic Places

II.          Dacia; Daco-Roman Continuity

III.  Árpád's Conquest of Hungary; conversion to Christianity

IV.   Transylvania from the Árpád's Conquest of Hungary until the Mongol Invasion of the country

V.   Transylvania during the Mongol Invasion

VI.   Transylvania after the Mongol Invasion Until the Days of the Turkish Rule

                                                                                VII.   Transylvania During the Times of the Turk Danger

VIII. Vlach (Rumanian) Voivods,Transylvanian Fiefs, Rumanian Cultic Places






Churches of the Árpádian Age in Eastern‑Hungary

Assembled by János Gyurkó









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        Up to this point in time, Hungarian historiography has attempted to refute the theory of the Daco-Roman continuity with research in the fields of archeology, philology and comparative linguistics.  The research has not been extended to the intensive study of Christian cultic places.  The author recognized the lack of such a study when he began his research in this direction.  Árpád Kosztin states with reason that, from the point of view of the continuity, the decisive argument would be the presence or absence of cultic places in Transylvania.  If the statements of the Rumanian historians were true, that the people of Dacia were converted to Christianity in the 4th and 5th centuries, that they remained Christian throughout the time of the people migrations and that they have continued to live in Transylvania without interruption since that time, then their churches, monasteries, chapels, abbeys and cemeteries should attest to their presence.  The author of this book has painstakingly examined the existence of cultic places and the dates of their foundation.  He has looked for those buildings whose existence is questionable but in vain; he found none.  It is a well-known fact that, since man has existed, he has built cultic places in his place of settlement.  Archeological research has not found any cultic places built by the christianized Dacians from the 4th and 5th centuries.  Nor can it be proven that, in the two centuries following the Magyar Homecoming, from the 10th to the 12th century, the Rumanians built Greek Orthodox churches in Transylvania.  The first trace of Rumanian cultic places cannot be found until the 13th and 14th centuries, when the Vlachs or Rumanians migrated through the passes of the Carpathian Mountains from the Balkans into Transylvania.  Árpád Kosztin’s conclusion, supported by a litany of  irrefutable facts, is that he can delegate the romantic theory of the Daco-Roman continuity to the world of legends.   



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The Foundation of Christianity,


 Cultic Places  


Christianity as a world‑religion was founded by Jesus Christ.   Due to the tireless work of the Apostles, it spread rapidly. It came into being in Palestine during the first half of the first century.     

The early, oldest Christian congregations made contact with the Jews living in Diaspora beyond the borders of Palestine during and after the years of the Jewish wars (66‑70 A.D.).  After the unsuccessful Jewish uprising and the devastation of Palestine in 70 A.D., the Jewish‑Christian religious  communities suffered great losses and diminished in numbers. 

The dispersed people were looking for and took refuge in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire.  At this time, numerous Jews lived outside of Palestine, mainly in the commercial centres, like Damascus, Antioch, Athens, Corinth, in the larger towns of the coastal district of Asia Minor as well as in Rome.     

By crossing the borders of Palestine, Christianity had to break with the Judaic roots in order to avoid becoming a small Jewish sect.  At the same time, pagans joined them in growing numbers.  The first stage of Christianity, i.e. the Early Christianity, lasted from the founding of the first Christian congregations until the emergence of Paulinism.

Paulinism made a radical change in the lives  of the first Christians.  It also determined their further destiny.  The bases of the united Christian Church came into being.     


It was almost impossible to build  Christian cultic places during the times of persecution of Christians,  at the time of early Christianity.  Their religious ceremonies were performed in their underground cemeteries and catacombs, which also served as their hiding‑places.  While avoiding the dangers of threatening conflicts, they lived by their spiritual values by withdrawing into themselves and helping each other.  By locking themselves into their family homes and avoiding showy formalities, they celebrated the mystery; they were one in prayer and in Mass or Communion, as it was assigned by Christ [1].

The believers of the new faith, which spread in the world of the Jewish Diaspora, got together in the home of a wealthy co‑religionist, usually on the upper floors.  It happened sometimes that the whole building served the community.  The best examples of the early Christian places were found under the cathedral of San Giovanni e Paolo in Rome, or in Dura-Europos, in Syria, where a dwelling house‑church (domus ecclesiae) was found under the ruins of a city devastated by the Parthians in 265 [2].

      Constantine the Great, the Graeco‑Roman Emperor (247‑337 A.D.), recognizing the power and opportunity in the foundation of Christianity, reached an arrangement with the Christian Church in 313 A.D.  He officially recognized, and guaranteed the freedom of the  Christian Church. In his famous Milanese Ordinance (rescriptum), the Emperor ordered that all the places where Christians used to gather, and all the goods belonging juridically to the folds (ecclesiae) were  to be handed back to the Christian communities without any payment or compensation. 

A huge amount of money was put at the bishops' disposal for the purpose of church building. According to the new  law, the former pagan temples and estates of the holy places were given to the Christian Church.  The edictum (ordinance issued by the emperor) started the building of Christian churches  on the whole territory of the Roman Empire. 


Christian temples were built everywhere.  Constantine  built the first Christian cathedral in Rome.  This building was later named San Giovanni Cathedral.  The construction of the Saint Peter Basilica  started in 325 over the tomb of Peter the Apostle.  The sacred place remained the centre of Christianity until the times of Pope Julius II. (1503‑1513).       By the end of the third century, the number of congregations had increased considerably.  

At the beginning of the fourth century half of the population was Christian in Asia Minor, Armenia and Cyprus.  A significant number of Christians lived in Syria (Antioch), Egypt (Alexandria and Thebes),  Rome, South and Central Italy,  Africa, on the Iberian peninsula, in the northern part of Italy, in Gaul and in the provinces along the Danube river.      Theodosius (346‑395), Holy Roman Emperor from 381 A.D., made Christianity the official state religion and started to suppress the pagans.  Christianity left its catacomb life once and for all in the fifth century A.D.  The church building of Constantine continued.  The cathedral was the main form of churches built.    

 With the death of Theodosius in 395, the Holy Roman Empire was finally divided into two parts, the Western and the Eastern Empires. After that year, the Eastern‑Roman Empire (Byzantium) lasted for more than one thousand years as an independent historical formation. 

The Western‑Roman Empire came to an end during the years of the Great Migrations  due to the endless attacks of barbarians. The Empire was devastated by the Huns in the fifth century, and the southward movements of the Slavs immediately began from the territories of present day Poland.  They managed to reach the Elbe River in the west, the Danube in the southwest.  During the sixth century they got into Pannonia, Thrace and Macedonia.     

The Western‑Roman Empire was gradually replaced by the newly founded Christian feudal states.  As the consequences of the division of the  Roman Empire, the Greek‑Catholic (Orthodox) Church  took shape in the east, and was strongly intertwined with the state. At the same time, the Papal supreme power was developed in the Western Church. 


Christianity, as we have seen, used to be a persecuted religion.  The northern banks of the Danube River known by  the name Dacia Traiana (part of later Transylvania, and Oltenia) were the only exceptions to the persecutions after 271 A.D., when Aurelianus withdrew his legions and colonuses (settlers) from those territories.  The exception lasted for a couple of decades, until the first flocks of migrating people, the Goths, appeared. 

If there had been a Romanized population on these territories, the  houses of congregations  (domus ecclesiae) or cathedrals of theirs would have  been built.  However, there are no buildings or even traces of these to be found. Neither do we  have  any documents or other data proving their existence, even though ‑ it is needless to say ‑ after the  withdrawal of the Roman legions in 271, until the appearance of the first barbarian people, the Goths, Christianity could spread free of pressure of any kind and persecution by the Roman administration in Dacia Traiana.

 When discussing the theory of Daco‑Roman continuity, it is necessary to investigate the situation also south of the lower Danube, in the Balkan Peninsula. Let us give a broad outline of the Byzantine Church Architecture and the architecture affected by the Byzantine style in the 4th‑12th centuries in addition to works of art and other paintings parallel to the spread of Christianity.     

We have already referred to the first Christian Churches built by Constantine and Theodosius.  The Byzantine art's most outstanding architectural work, the monumental Hagia Sophia (532‑537), was built in Constantinople during the reign of Justinianus, Eastern‑Roman Emperor (482‑565).  The construction of the San Vitale Cathedral in Ravenna, financed by a rich Syrian banker, Julianus Argentarius, started before 532 and ended in 547.     


The Bulgarians adopted Christianity in 865.  According to a Greek source from the 11th century, their reigning Prince Boris I. (852‑889) ordered the building of seven churches already in the same year, i.e. in  865.  The era's biggest church, the Great Basilica is the most important art work of the Bulgarian architecture from the 9th‑10th centuries.  The John the Baptist Church in Nesebar,    on the shore of the Black Sea,  was built in the tenth  century.  The most monumental and most imposing relic of the Bulgarian architecture, the monastery of Rila was built between 927 and 942 in a small basin on the southern slope of the Maljovica.  The second oldest monastery built in  1070, can be found in the environs of Tirnovo.     

At the beginning of the 10th century there were no other states in the area which would have been able to compete with the strength and power of the Bulgarian state.  The state's main goal was the full conquest of Byzantium.  However, after the death of Tsar Simeon and the long military campaigns, the country's economical and military power became so weak that the State's internal order could not be restored.  The Bulgarian  State totally collapsed in 1018.  The once great Bulgarian Empire became one of Byzantium's provinces.  A considerable part of the monasteries were destroyed –  especially in the surroundings of Pliska and Preslav, by the endless attacks of the raiding barbarian tribes  from the North.     

The Saint Demeter Church  was built in Tirnovo, the  capital,  in 1186. After the foundation of the second Bulgarian Empire (1185),  the tradition has it that the Saint Peter and Paul Monastery  was also built  during the second Bulgarian Empire on the Arbanas Mountain.  According to the legend the Saint Elias monastery  in Plakovo was also built during  the second Bulgarian State.  In Skripu near Athens, in Greece,   another monastery, originated from 873‑874, can be found.   According to an early Russian chronicle, Vladimir, great reigning Prince of Kiev (980-1015), entrusted ten scientists to travel around other people's territories and survey the great religions such as the Muslim, Christian and Greek‑ Catholic.  The scientists gave accounts to the Prince of the monumental Hagia Sophia's fascinating beauty in Constantinople [3].  According to a chronicle, the great reigning prince converted  – on the scientists´ recommendation – to Greek‑Catholicism with his people.  The Russians had already known Christianity, since the Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Kiev has been mentioned since 882.


     Vladimir ordered all his subjects to embrace Christianity in 988‑989.  Under the reign of his son, Jaroslav the Wise, 1019‑1054, the Hagia Sophia Cathedral was erected in Kiev.  The Saint George Cathedral was built between 1119 and 1130, while the construction of the Saint Demeter Church   in Vladimir‑Suzdal lasted from 1194 to 1197. Building of additional churches was prevented by the Tartar conquests.     

After the Byzantine  style church architecture,  let us examine the Byzantine art, which exerted a considerable influence on remote territories of the earth.  

Byzantine masters made the mosaics of the Hagia Sophia Church in Kiev between 1037 and 1061.  The frescos in Vladimir were painted around 1195.  The Norman kings of Sicily  built their churches with Byzantine masters between 1143 and 1200.  The San Marco Cathedral was patterned after the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.  Its earliest mosaics from the 11th century are also Byzantine masters' work.  The gold and enamel Pala d'Oro of the high altar is also an art work from Constantinople.  Fresco painting at the end of the 12th century met very high standards in Cyprus under the Byzantine governors' reign [4].

 We have to go deeply into the question of the Byzantine church architecture and  works of art,  because their trend setting spread to the Balkan Peninsula. We will have to look for Vlach (Rumanian) church constructions.  We have to look for the Vlach Orthodox chapels and churches of the 7th‑12th centuries along the southern and northern banks of the Danube River. If we accept some Rumanian statements, the Rumanian cultic places shall also be found in Transylvania.  We have to look for these cultic places especially from the first half of the 9th century.


     Prince Krum, Bulgarian  ruler,  captured some bishops, priests and Christians sometime around 812. He  forcibly relocated them to the left bank of the Danube, where they converted a lot of Bulgarians to orthodox Christianity. Around 870, Dacia Traiana and a part of Transylvania also were placed under the authority of  Boris who ruled Bulgaria. If Daco‑Romans (Rumanians) had lived there, they would have had to yield to the brutal Bulgarian force used against them and  convert to Orthodox Christianity.  However, we cannot find any contemporary traces of  Vlach church architecture, either in the Balkans or in Transylvania.  The historical sources do not mention the “Romanized Dacians“ or the Rumanians in Dacia until the 12th century, although numerous sources talk about the Vlach people on the Balkan Peninsula since the 10th century (976).     

Considering the monumental paintings of the Byzantine Empire in the “successor” states, such as Serbia, Bulgaria and Trapezunt, it can be said that there is no mention of the artistic impact of those paintings on the territories north of the Danube.  This would not have been imaginable, if the Rumanians, as autochthonous people, had lived in Dacia Traiana and the other areas in question during the 11th‑12th centuries.  As the influence  of Byzantine art had reached Hungary, for example Szekszárd, it undoubtedly should  have reached Dacia Traiana also.

      The state founding Magyars had some contacts with the Christians before they settled  in the Carpathian Basin. The fact, that they did not devastate the cultic places can be explained by their good relationship with the Christians.  If the Magyar conquerors had found such Daco‑Roman cultic places in Transylvania, those cultic places with their Christian followers would have survived the original invasion of the Magyars  as they did in Hungary.  These circumstances indicate the Balkan link to the orthodox clerical organizations of the Rumanians; the Bulgarian‑Slav liturgical  language and the language of the Royal Chancellery; and several features of the early Rumanian culture referring to the close Bulgarian‑Slav  relationship [5].

 The first Rumanian state organizations were founded  several hundred years later than those of the surrounding peoples: Wallachia in the second half of the 13th century, and at the beginning of the 14th century; Moldavia at the beginning and the middle of the 14th century.


     The Hungarian conquerors took possession  of a territory having  considerable artistic tradition [6]. The ruins of the Roman province and the art of the Slavs living within the boundaries of the  Hungarian State increased the artistic culture of the Hungarians.  The same  can hardly be said about the Vlachs.  The oldest Rumanian Orthodox church was built in the 13th century, it can be found in Demsus.  According to Károly Kós “ is a primitive  Rumanian  art‑work of Byzantine style” [7]. László Kőváry said: “It is probably a crypt raised over an  early Christian church, the Longinus' ruins...Considering its size it is very small even for a Vlach church [8]. It is one of the most marvellous and oldest buildings in our country [historical Hungary].  Its steeple  originated from the 10th century.  Some of our historians think that it is a Roman church, while others believe  it is of Gothic origin.”

     The church, as we have mentioned,  was built in  the 13th century.  This in accordance  with the fact that a Hungarian document, which mentions a Rumanian population in Southern Transylvania for the first time, originated from 1210 [9].  The late date of the building of the first Vlach church indicates that there were no Vlach inhabitants in Transylvania in the period of the Hungarian settlement, and that the first  Vlachs could not have appeared in the area before the 12th century. 

Neither the Roman society and its institutions, nor the settlements' continuity can undoubtedly be determined.  In the one‑time Roman cities, where traces of German and Avar settlements can be found, cemeteries and different buildings are providing proof that Vlachs lived in parts of the ruined cities.[10].    

Mircea Păcurariu, professor of the Theological University in Nagyszeben (Sibiu) [11], states, “In Doboka (Dăbîca), near Kolozsvár, some Christian churches that originated from the 10th‑11th centuries, were newly discovered.”  He did not state, what kind of churches are in question.  Since he considers that  these churches were built  in  the 10th‑11th centuries, they must in all likelihood  have been Hungarian churches.  Păcurariu would probably talk about the churches in greater details, if he could consider them  of Rumanian origin.     


The Vlach  churches between the 14th and 17th centuries, following that of  Demsus, were built by the Moldavian and Wallachian voivodes,  vassals of Hungary,  on the estates in fee  granted to them  by the Hungarian kings and the Hungarian voivodes in Transylvania. (We will talk about them later in chapter VII.)     

Nicolae Stoicescu writes [12]  that Christian cemeteries, originating from the time before Árpád's conquest of Hungary, were found in Dacia, in a part of present day Transylvania.  Such tombs might have been found, but this does not necessarily mean that they belonged to Rumanians, since there were Christians among the peoples of the Great Migration, and they were buried as Christians.  Objects, indicating their Christian belief, were placed with their bodies.













 Dacia (Erdély)


Daco‑Roman Continuity



 Hungarian historians, like Benedek Jancsó, who dedicated his life to the intensive study of the theory  of Daco‑Roman continuity, consider that  the territories of  Dacia included Krassó‑Szörény, Hunyad, Alsófehér and Kolozs Counties, the southern part of Szolnok‑Doboka County, Torda‑Aranyos and Nagyküküllő_ Counties,  – thus, the southwestern and central part of Transylvania. (Its influence and impact could be felt also in neighbouring areas.) According to Jancsó, it never included the Székely territories east of the Hargita Mountains and north of the Feketeügy (Râul Negru) River. Moldavia, Bukovina, Máramaros, and Szatmár, Bihar, Zaránd counties never belonged to Dacia. North and East of the above mentioned territory there were mainly uninhabited lands, not or only loosely connected to the Dacian state [13].


Dacia was attacked by the Romans for the first time in 101 A.D. Traian, crossing the Danube through the Vaskapu (the Iron Gate) of Hunyad County, marched and attacked the Dacian capital, Sarmizegetusa, with his legions. The contemporary centre of King Decebal was  found near Várhely, a small village in Hunyad County. One of the Roman leaders, Lusius, crossed the Danube at Orsova and invaded Sarmizegetusa through the Volcano Pass. Decebal asked for peace.

Under the terms and conditions of the peace treaty, Decebal became vassal of the Roman emperor. Traian left a Roman garrison in Sarmizegetusa and returned to Rome with honor and glory. The leader of the garrison was Longinus, whom we mentioned while discussing the Roman Orthodox Temple of Demsus.

 Decebal, however, did not intend to honor the peace treaty. He used the time of peace to rebuild the devastated fortresses and fortifications. He also attacked the Jazygians who were allied with Traian. Decebal also welcomed  to Dacia Roman deserters (there were Christians among them) and sent some of them to Rome with the commission to kill Traian. He arrested and held in captivity Longinus, Traian's personal  representative. He sent his emissaries to Rome with the message that he would not  let Longinus free, unless he got back the occupied territories plus  reimbursements for his  military expenses. Longinus poisoned himself in captivity, and the Roman Senate declared Decebal an enemy.

Traian personally led his legions against Decebal   in 105 A.D. Sarmizegetusa was taken and occupied by the Romans. Decebal was captured while trying to escape. (According to the legends, he tried to escape to the north, and fell upon his sword at Kolozsvár.) Traian finished the full conquest of Dacia in 106 A.D. and returned to Rome.

Dacia was made a Roman province; it was named Dacia Traiana after its conqueror. According to Roman historians like Dio Cassus and Eutropius, Traian killed off the whole male population in Dacia. He replaced them with new settlers of all nationalities from the whole Roman Empire. The Roman inscriptions in Transylvania, that originated in later centuries, suggest that in addition to the new dwellers, Dacia had Dacians as well as other nationalities living in its territories.


 Historical sources tell us that Dacians, living outside the province, raided several times the flourishing new provinces. Between 180 and 190 A.D. Governor Sabinianus made twelve thousand free Dacians settle down with the aim of pacifying them. These Dacians returned  to their Fatherland after one hundred years of exile. This was the first time they had contact with the Roman administration, therefore the Romanization could not have taken place before this time, if ever.

The Roman armed forces stationed in Dacia were multinational [14]. Only the commanders and civil servants were from Italy. The newly settled people were  not purely  native Latin speakers [15].  [Compare the situation  in India. After a long period of British rule, only the upper and middle classes learned the English language.  The vast majority of the inhabitants of the Indian  Subcontinent, or any other colony for that matter,  never really mastered it (translator´s note)]. Writings, inscriptions, archaeological findings prove that they were urban, miner and merchant people, from Syria to Gaul, who could not speak Latin or spoke it badly [16]; on the inscriptions which were not made by the Roman authorities,  names of Oriental Gods abound [17]. These people should have been Romanized before they, intermarrying with the native population, could have been the ancestors of  a Neo‑Latin people, (the Rumanians).  Thus,  there were not  many native Latin speakers among the settlers. (The number of native Latin speakers radically dropped in Italy too. Therefore, Traian had to issue an order,  to  stop the  dangerous outflow  of  settlers  from  Italy.)

 Believers of the Continuity Theory frequently refer to the Latinizing impact of the Roman legions and merchants stationed in Dacia. Participating in the Latinization of Dacia, members of the legions should have been natives from Italy. The legionaries were Roman citizens, but they were recruited from the western and other primarily multinational, non-Latin provinces.


Only two Roman legions were stationed in Dacia, approximately twelve thousand people. Compared  to the alleged large population in the territory, they would not have been successful in the Latinization, even if they had been native Latins from Italy and had no other duties to perform. Only the officers were from Rome in the auxiliary troops; approximately 500‑1000 people, who did not live in cities. Since they were stationed along the borders in fortified camps, which were mainly uninhabited areas, they did not have anybody to Latinize. There were only a few Romans among the merchants, therefore they could not have taken part in the Latinization.

The Roman legions had to give up Dacia in 271 A.D. due to the relentless attacks of barbarians. It was robbed and plundered by the Goths, the Sarmatians and other people allied with each other. Emperor Aurelian(i)  “...Being convinced that the  province with its diminished population could not be kept under control, gave it up and withdrew his troops under organized circumstances. In 271 the army's still remaining units were  withdrawn and the population was transferred into Moesia” [18].

From our point of view, it is important to know that along with the withdrawal in 271, historiography commemorates two Dacias, Dacia Traiana and Dacia Aureliana. The first included part of present day Transylvania and Oltenia. The second was situated south of the Danube, bounded by the Skopje‑Sofia‑Niš triangle. We have to emphasize this, because Rumanian historians, according to their own interest, usually keep silent about Dacia Aureliana.

The giving up and evacuation of Dacia, as well as the transfer of the people was fairly well organized. Naturally, the action did not happen overnight. A significant part of the civil population had already left the province. It is possible that the evacuation was not complete, although there are no reliable data to support this assumption. The number of those who did not leave was most probably insignificant[19].


The Roman reign in Dacia lasted only  about 170 years. Later, Dacia became booty of the barbarian peoples. Six hundred dark years followed in this era. It is certain, however, that Transylvania was subject to the rule of the Goths until the beginning of the 5th century. As we can see, Aurelian let them conquer Dacia in 271. Their empire, where Christianity also spread, was destroyed by the attacks of the Huns. Even the Goths became divided into two parts: Western and Eastern Goths. The Huns conquered Transylvania with their devastating attacks, but after the collapse of their empire the area became the property of the Gepids, later the Longobards.

 In the second half of the 6th century Dacia was conquered by the Avars. Their empire existed until the end of the 8th century A.D.   Charlemagne, outstanding member of the Carolingian dynasty, defeated them in several battles in the year of 791 and conquered their territory to the Tisza River. The invading Magyars  found  a considerable number of Avars, who remained there after the collapse of their empire; they intermarried with the Magyars. The Avars have left a large number of tombs in which rich  material relics were found.

In the first century A.D. a new people, different from the other nationalities, started to emerge in greater and greater numbers from the north and the north‑east from the Sarmata lowlands to the middle, eastern and southern part of Europe. They were the Slavs. They were peaceful settlers, who earned their living from a primitive form of agriculture. People of the Great Migration would rather have treated them with consideration than harm them. They were considered servants, and their only task was to provide plenty agricultural produce for the country. Their  number increased considerably, and they encroached  on even  larger and larger territories. In the 5th and 6th centuries, they were present not just in the Balkan Peninsula but in Central and Eastern Europe also. To Transylvania, the Slavs started to move probably  during the Avar rule in the 6th century. They have absorbed those small ethnic groups who remained there after the devastations of the Great Migration. We have sources about every single ethnic group who lived in Transylvania after the Roman withdrawal in 271.  We do not know, however, what happened to the Dacians and the Celts. Accordingly, the remaining fragments of the Dacians could have blended into the people following each other during the years, the same way as the Eastern Celts vanished without a trace.


In the 9th century,  only Slavic people lived in small numbers in Transylvania. The conquering Magyars could have found only Slavs in the area. This Slavic population lived without any organized state, under the leadership of the head of the clan; gathered around earthworks which served for some sort of defense. The origin of these earthworks can hardly be viewed as Dacian. Especially those, which were dug up recently by the Rumanian historians in that part of Székely land which did not even belong to the territories of Dacia. It is  probable that Southern Transylvania and several parts of the Great Plain were subject to Bulgarian rule when the Magyars arrived. Considering the reports of the Hungarian chronicles concerning the beginning of the 11th century, it is possible that the Bulgarian reign survived until the first decade of the new millennium. It seems  that the Magyars did not have to share the political power, making an allowance for the small Bulgarian territory, with any other people. At the beginning of the 10th century only the Magyars had political organizations in the Carpathian Basin although this organization was based on the confederation of tribes [20].

We have to  stress the fact that there already were some Christians among the Roman conquerors of Dacia, as well as the settlers they transferred here. Christianity was spreading rapidly. In the middle of the 2nd century A.D., even the farthest provinces of the Roman Empire had Christian congregations [21]. Christians must have appeared  in Dacia. They did not only care for their religion, but they carried on some  missionary activities for the sake of  spreading Christianity. There could have been some Christians among them who had been converted to Christianity directly by the apostles and became Latin Christians.


Around the 3rd century, there were several one‑time Roman soldiers among the Christian martyrs [22]. This was also professed by Tertulianus Quintus Septimus Florens (152‑222 A.D.), a North African Christian Church leader. According to him, Christianity penetrated into the territory along the left bank of the Danube before the Roman legions' withdrawal. This is also believed by D. Pippidi, Rumanian historian (and on the basis of his opinions by several other Rumanian historians) [23].

Nicolae Stoicescu, the Rumanian  historian mentioned above, stated [24], that the religious freedom of the Christians  was not acknowledged at the time of the Roman withdrawal from Dacia Traiana (it was refused recognition until 313 A.D.). Thus, the withdrawal of the Roman administration  made the spread of Christianity easier in the former province. This may be correct; however, the following circumstances should be considered:

‑ If spreading in Dacia,  Christianity could not have had many followers at the very beginning;

‑ presumably, the Dacians were not Christians. The new religion could hardly, only as an underground movement, spread before 271 due to the pursuit of the contemporary  pagan Roman administration;

 ‑the conversion and exercise of Christianity must have been considered  secondary in a situation of  endless attacks of the free Dacians;

‑ after the withdrawal of Dacia Traiana´s  population to the territories south of the Danube in 271, there had been so few Christians left, that they could not have remained a  considerable factor in the survival and propagation of Christianity. (The Christians, considering themselves really Romanized, must have been among those who were most willing to leave the province when the Roman administration left it;) 

‑ after the withdrawal of the legions and the population, Aurelian left Dacia to the Goths. We have very little data about their reign regarding whether Christian religion could have existed in Dacia Traiana; 


‑ the “late Roman” culture does not have any authentic marks in Transylvania referring to an isolated, local population from the era of tetrarchy.(ii) Traces of the people living here for an uncertain time can only be found in Baráthely, on the southern banks of the river Nagy‑Küküllő. Therefore, there was not anyone the new religion could have spread among.

If Christianity had still existed in Dacia, what kind of cultic places would have borne witness to it? As we have already mentioned, we do not know much about the history of Transylvania for six hundred years, until the Magyar conquest of Hungary. It is probable that, during the Peoples´ Migration, the population living in Transylvania after the Roman withdrawal was decimated and those who survived were assimilated into other peoples.

This is proven by the destiny of the contemporary Dacian capital, Sarmizegetusa (Grădişte, Hungarian: Várhely). The city  where the palace of the Augustinians, the forum, several baths, a temple, sanctuaries, public and private buildings were located, totally perished. In 279 A.D. it was entirely uninhabited. Its stones were carried away for building of houses and the nearby castle. Such  a collapse could have happened on the whole territory of Dacia.

We do not know for sure if the Christian Church was present in Dacia Traiana, because of the influx of barbarians.  In spite of the waves of barbarians, there were connections, through Oltenia,(iii) between the territories north and south of the Danube. This explains the ethnic unity and common language that exists between the Rumanians living presently in Rumania, the Arumanians, the Megleno-Rumanians, and the Istro-Rumanians.   What is the significance of the fact that writers of the Clergy, who mentioned so much data about  a Christian religious life in the territories south of the Danube, did not write anything about such things in the regions  north of  the river? Rumanian  historians assume that Christians lived more undisturbed in the mountains, but how did they do it without priests, bishops and clerical organizations?





As shown above, no remains of Christian Churches or Christian cultic places were found in  Dacia Traiana from  the time of the Roman occupation. (150 years) During the 2nd and 3rd Centuries the majority of the Dacian population – people in the villages – were still pagan but not barbarian. These people became Christian at the end of the 4th  century and the beginning of the 5th century, yet, according to Rumanian historians,  between the 4th and 6th centuries,  missionaries came from the northern part of the Danube, to convert the barbarians (or Roman elements) and not the Daco-Romans to Christianity.  The question is: why did the Christians who remained in Dacia Traiana after 271, not try to convert the not yet Christian Daco Romans who were living among the barbarians (Slavs)?

The answer is simply that there were no such Christian Daco-Romans in Dacia Traiana. If there had really been some part of the populace which remained in Dacia Traiana after the Romans withdrew, who were Christian, however small a group, they could have performed the conversions of the not yet Christian Daco‑Romans and barbarians who settled there.  In the early Christian communities every member could preach and the member in question could be his or her own “doctor”. [25] It may be asked: why was it then necessary to send missionaries to this territory?


Stoicescu (1980, p. 149) assumes that the withdrawal of the Roman administration in 271 made the spread of  Christianity  easier – there was no one who persecuted the believers of the new faith and the cult of the Roman emperor disappeared.  After 271, the Christian faith could have flourished.  Cultic places could have been built freely – however, there are no material remains to show that this was the case.   Therefore between the 4th and 6th centuries there must have only been barbarians living in Dacia Traiana, so it is difficult to imagine the presence of a large number of latinized populace.  Moreover, that section of the populace would have preferred to live in a more secure territory like that south of the Danube, in Moesia, that is Dacia Aureliana. 

         Stoicescu refers to  Auxentius Durostorenis, (p. 150): “the  bishop named Ulfila(iv)was preaching in the Gothic and the Latin languages”. Stoicescu then quotes Moga (Transilvania, 74,3, 1943, p. 15) who asked: “To whom could this bishop preach in the Latin language if not to the Romanized and Christianized Dacians?”

The answer to this question is as follows: Ulfila preached in the Latin language in the Roman Empire, south of the lower Danube. The quotation from the text written by Auxentius Durostorensis is incomplete and therefore misleading. Reading the entire text, it appears that Ulfila preached for the Goths north of the Danube for seven years; then a persecution of Christians started and the bishop was forced, with part of his congregation, to flee to the Roman Empire – there, he preached for thirty-three years, of course, in Latin, the language of the liturgy among the Roman population (see also Du Nay & Du Nay, 1997, p. 35).   Stoicescu assumes (p. 149)  that the Christianization of the Daco-Romans who remained  north of the Danube was partly achieved by  missionaries coming from the south. He mentions, however, the opinion of P.P. Panaitescu, who believed that their aim was the conversion of barbarians, not that of the already Christian Daco‑Romans. Panaitescu also  asserted that their Christianity was a natural consequence of the continuity of the Empire in the 4th‑6th Centuries north of the Danube  [27]. Let us take some points into consideration:

‑ During the time of the Roman administration, between 106 and 271 A.D. – as we have already mentioned – there were only a few Christians in Dacia Traiana. Their religion could hardly spread. If Christianity did expand it was only moderately successful.


 ‑ When the Romans  evacuated Dacia Traiana,  the  first to leave the province must have been  the Christian  believers among the settlers. The spread of Christianity slowed down, was forced back or even stopped.

 ‑ If the Daco‑Romans, living north of the Danube were converted to Christianity by the Romans then they would live there as devoted Christians. Why didn't their own preachers convert the barbarians to Christianity? Again; who converted the Rumanians to Christianity in Dacia Traiana ? This question is not new. It was discussed by Petru Maior(v)   who believed that Christianity had been brought by the colonuses, and, consequently, there was no need of  missionaries, apostles etc.  That is why the exact date of conversion is unclear; it is not linked to anybody's name.

This is contradicted by the fact that  the official religion in Dacia Traiana was the worship of the emperor, besides the cult of Jupiter and Mars,  and already in the mid-second century, the Mithras‑cult,(vi) became widespread which was an alien, non-Roman cult. One may add, that the territory between the Adriatic and the  Black Sea,  and the Balkan territory south of the Danube was intensively Romanized,  just as Dacia Traiana.  By the 5th century Illiricum(vii)  and Moesia were the most advanced provinces as regards the organization of the Christian Church.

The fundamental notions of the Christian faith in the Rumanian language are of Latin origin: biseric_ < latin basilica, Dumnezeu < Domine Deus, înger < angelus, etc. Stoicescu asserts (150) that  this proves that the Daco-Romans were Christianized in the period “in which the Rumanian people was formed”.  This argument does not carry much weight in proving the Daco-Roman theory because these words are not specific to Dacia Traiana but were also used by the Christians living  south of the Danube.  Stoicescu’s statement actually refutes the theory of the Daco-Roman continuity because it indicates that when the Rumanians arrived in Thessalica in 600 AD, from the south, they were already Christian and therefore they could have learned these words from the Latin priests.  The concepts of Christianity such as the afterlife,  ceruri = Heaven, inger = angel, crestin = Christian, lege = religion, biserica = church, crucea = cross, sarbatoare = Holiday, florii = Palm Sunday, parasimi = Lent are even today expressed in Rumanian by Latin words.(28)  




Stoicescu (150) mentions that Dobruja(viii) (Scythia Minor) remained for a longer time under Roman rule and  was thus exposed to an earlier and more intense Christianization as compared to the other Rumanian provinces. He mentions that a bishopric existed in Tomis(ix) (today's Constanta)  in the 4th - 6th centuries.  This  was by A. Ghimpu-Bolsacov  called  “the first metropolitan seat [mitropolie]( x)  of our country” [29]      Stoicescu mentions several discoveries of contemporary basilicas, inscriptions of a Christian character, tombs and crypts in this area. However, Dobruja is located south of the Danube – the point is that  such remains of a Christian religious life  were not found in Dacia Traiana.

Stoicescu also mentions a number of archaeological discoveries of an ancient Christian character also from the territory of former Dacia Traiana, which, he says, would prove the presence of the Christian religion there already in the 4th century.  He states that in Rumanian territory, in Dettán (Detta) Transylvania, ancient Christian graves were excavated, which date to the time before the Magyar Conquest.  This is a vague statement, which needs more detailed elaboration.(30) 

We do not dispute the results of archaeological research, as we do not dispute the existence of the discovered Christian tombs.  We cannot accept, however, the theories put forward by Stoicescu (and others), that the Rumanian people were converted to Christianity on the territory north of the Danube, including Dacia Traiana.  If the Rumanian people had been converted to Christianity in the 4th and 5th centuries AD, then the Magyars at the time of their Conquest, at the end of the 9th and the beginning of the 10th centuries, that is 400 years later, should have found more Christian churches in the territory of Transylvania, more parishes, chapels, monasteries and bishoprics.  Stoicescu and others do not mention any of these facts.  Even Pacurariu Mircea, the Professor of Theology, in his quoted work on pages 29 and 30, mentions only six small religious plaques in Transylvania but makes no mention of religious cultural artifacts.  The few remains which Pacurariu mentions indicate the presence of very few Christians in Dacia Traiana.  This means that Christianity in this area was not strong enough to establish religious organizations there. 

It is very important in respect to the Christianity in Dacia in the 2nd., 3rd, and 4th centuries to note that the Rumanian word biserica meaning “church” originates from the Latin word basilica which actually means “jurisdiction”.  This means that Christianity in Dacia expanded after the 4th century, when the inhabitants of Dacia could gather freely  in buildings which they called biserica rather than ecclesia which originated from the time when Christianity was forbidden.

The difference between Dobruja and the territories north of the lower Danube is striking: in Dobruja, there are  remains of several Christian churches, crypts built on tombs of Christian martyrs from the 3rd century, more than 200 inscriptions of a Christian character, many of them on sarcophagi from the 4th-7th centuries, etc. All these provide material proof for the statement that in Dobruja, intensive religious, Christian life – clerical organizations,  monasteries and episcopacies – must have existed beginning with the 4th century. 

If the ancestors of the Rumanians, who adopted Christianity already in the 3rd - 4th centuries, had lived in that period in the territory of Dacia Traiana, there should be similar material remains also there. Christian people of this time could not live, not even temporarily, without buildings and places, such as chapels, meeting‑houses, temples etc., serving their worship.


The above mentioned striking difference between the territories north and south of the lower Danube regarding early Christian churches etc. have been discussed by Rumanian historians. The fact that in the  south,  – in Dobruja and in Moesia – there were churches and episcopacies in an  early period caused several historians to assume that such buildings must have existed also among the Daco-Romans living in the North. This is, however,  a dangerous reasoning, writes Auner Carol, historian of the Church. This is because it can be asked: how it is possible that parallel to the strong documentation about the existence of the churches in the neighboring territories, intensive investigations, going on for decades, could not find similar constructions in the territories north of the lower Danube?

It is well known that Emperor Justinian raised the Episcopacy of  his birthplace, Tauresium, to the archbishopric rank with the  name Prima Justiniana. In his second documentary he listed all the episcopacies posted under this archbishopric.  Among these Dacia Traiana was not mentioned, so we can conclude that in this area Christianity had not taken hold.  In this document, one castle and two fortresses located on the northern shore of the lower Danube are described, but  no episcopacy, or any cultic place, or other religious organization is mentioned north of the river. This completes the picture given by the archeological finds mentioned above.

Petru Maior states that the barbarians who entered Dacia Traiana spared the country, and whenever they defeated the Dacians, they were able to settle without fear, because they always found supplies as if they were at home.  This was possible because the Dacia was always flourishing and could always provide the necessities.  “The Dacians were always able to feed them and welcome them.”(31)  We can conclude that   when the Romans withdrew from Dacia in 271, the remaining Daco-Romans were able to farm and develop and Christianity had the opportunity to spread.  However, we have to mention that Christianity from 271 AD to the time of the Magyar Conquest i.e. in 895 AD, could have developed and progressed, so why is there no trace of Church organizations and cultic places during these 600 years?  During this time the Christians could not have been without churches.  Among the Roman legions in Dacia there were some Christians and so they must have left behind some Christian graves which would show a Christian continuity, not a Daco-Roman continuity.

 Stoicescu describes an ex voto, with the inscription  “Ego Zenovius votum posui” (I, Zenovius made this donation) which he considers to be one of the most significant proofs of the existence of a Daco-Roman Christian community in Southern Transylvania in the 4th century:  It  was found in the vicinity of Berethalom (Biertan).  On the basis of the letters used and the initials, style scientists determined that it  originated from the 4th century. Stoicescu (1980, p. 153):


 “The fact,  that the inscription is in the Latin language proves that its owner could have been a Daco‑Roman, who talked to his contemporary companions in a language  which  they understood.   At the same time, it is an undeniable proof of the Daco‑Roman Continuity Theory, as well as a conclusive proof of the ancient age of Daco-Roman Christianity”. (Stoicescu, 1980, p. 153).

As shown above, finds of such objects, in the absence of cult places etc., are not sufficient to prove the existence of Christians and even less that of a Latin-speaking population in the area in question.

We have to note that the Dacian script did not remain.  The Dacians probably first learned to write from the colonizers, with Latin letters and in the Latin language.  The Dacians were not Christians, and those few who became Christian under Roman rule, used the Latin language and script.  Throughout several centuries, many different peoples may have had the custom of greeting each other in the Latin language and they used Latin texts on their gravestones and religious relics. There is nothing to support Stoicescu’s statement based on C.C. Giurescu’s opinion, that the Rumanians, north of the Danube, where they established themselves as a nation, were Christian. 

Rumanian Christianity, just as the Rumanian word grai is really has Latin characteristics.  Nobody doubts this because it is a fact.  It is even true that the Rumanians became Christian before the Magyars did, but we have to note that in 271, the people whom Aurelius withdrew from Dacia, settled in Moesia, which he called Dacia Aureliana.  The Rumanian people was formed in this territory from the colonuses, merchants and Romanized shepherds, who migrated here from Pannonia and Dacia Traiana.

The Latin form of Christianity was first introduced by the archbishopric of Prima Justiniana, which exercised decisive influence on the life of the Latin-speaking population of the Balkans   in the 5th century. However, the scattered, therefore hardly organizable population could not resist the Slav conquests in the 6th-7th centuries. The native people assimilated into the Slavonic culture, and even the shepherd people of the mountains could not keep themselves from the Slavic influence.

Under continued pressure from the Slavs, the unity of the original Rumanian people was destroyed in the 9th and 10th centuries. This  people, who originally spoke a uniform language (român_ comun_), started to migrate in different directions after about 1000 A.D. Some of them migrated to the west, and settled down on the territory of  Istria,(xi) surrounding the Monte Maggiore. They are the Istro-Rumanians. Others went to the South. Their descendants, the today's Arumanians, or Cincars, live mainly in Macedonia,(xii) while the Megleno‑Rumanians settled down in Thessaloniki(xiii) and its surrounding areas.


Another branch of  this Rumanian population moved to the North. They crossed the Balkan Mountains and settled down in the woodlands of the Danube and its northern tributaries, such as the Arges, the Ialomita and the Dâmbovita. These territories were very suitable for shepherd life. Consequences of the migrations are that we cannot find any Roman cultic places either on the Istrian Peninsula or in  Macedonia or the surrounding territories of Thessaloniki.

        We have to agree with Ferenc Levárdy, who wrote the following (about the Carpathian basin) [32]:

 “The devastations of the migrating  peoples, following one after another, wiped out almost every mark of Roman life. Only ruins demonstrate the one‑time flourishing Christian life. Due to serious ordeals of the war events, we can hardly talk about any continuity of life. According to the short stories of Saint Jerome,(xiv) the Carpathian Basin was far and wide blackmailed, robbed, devastated by Goths, Sarmatians, Quadi, Alans, Huns, Vandals, Markomanns. Temples were ruined and the martyrs´ bodies were thrown out; the whole Roman world was crumbling! Most of the time the ones who just recently arrived likely camped among the hewn stone ruins (ruin continuity).”

 Naturally, there are some exceptions. During the times of Constantine the Great, an early Christian basilica was raised in Pannonia at Fenékpuszta. It even survived the times when the  old Germanic peoples escaping  the Huns evacuated Pannonia. The other example is the Transylvanian early Christian temple from the 4th century at Demsus, if it had been a temple at all.

Returning to the question of the migrations of the Rumanians, we can state that they brought their religion with them from the Balkans. An old Rumanian  anonymous chronicle [33] tells us that the first conquest of the Vlachs happened in the 7th century from the southern part of the Danube through Oltenia under the reign of the Basarab Dynasty.  (We note that the founder of this dynasty, Basarab, was born at the end of the 13th century.) The impact of the Roman Rite Archbishopric, the Prima Justiniana was completely swept away, without a mark, by the Slav invasion. The archbishopric's role was taken over by an orthodox metropolite, subaltern of the Patriarch, who was residing in Ohrida. Therefore, when they migrated and settled down in Hungary, more specifically in Transylvania, which then was an organic part of the country, the Rumanians had been wholehearted believers of the Eastern Church for centuries.












1.  Levárdy, Ferenc: Magyar templomok művészete (Art in Hungarian churches). Szent István Társulat. Az Apostoli Szentszék Könyvkiadója, Budapest, 1982,  p. 19.

2. Szentkirályi, Zoltán: Az épitészet világtörténete. II. kötet (World History of Architecture, vol. 2.). Képző_művészeti Alap Kiadóvállalata, Budapest, 1980, p. 7.

3.  Szentkirályi, Zoltán: op. cit.,  p.  52.

4. Faludy, Anikó: Bizánc festészete és mozaikművészete (The History of Byzantine Painting and Mosaic). Ed. Corvina, Budapest, 1982.  p. 40.

5. Biró, Sándor: A román nép története (manuscript) (The History of the Rumanian People). Eötvös Lóránd Tudományegyetem Bölcsészettudományi Kara. Edit. Tankönyvkiadó, Budapest, 1976.  p. 23.

6. Művészeti kislexikon (Short Encyclopaedia of the Arts)  (Ed.: Lajta), Edit. Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1973. p. 353.

7. Kós, Károly: Erdély. (Kultúrtörténeti vázlat) (Transylvania - Culture-Historical Sketches) Erdélyi Szépműves Céh.     Kolozsvár, 1934. p.  48.

8. Kőváry, László: Erdély régiségei (The Antiquities of Transylvania). Pest. 1852. Tilch János tulajdona. Kolozsvár, p. 17‑18.

9.  Jancsó, Benedek: Erdély története (The History of Transylvania). Cluj‑Kolozsvár. Minerva Irodalmi és Nyomdai Műintézet Rt. 1931. p. 88.

10. A művészet története Magyarországon (The History of Art in Hungary). (Szerk.: Aradi Nóra.) Gondolat Kiadó, 1983, p. 10.


11.  Păcurariu, Mircea: Istoria Bisericii Ortodoxe Române. (The History of the Rumanian Orthodox Church). Sibiu,  1972, p. 47.

12. Stoicescu, Nicolae: Continuitatea românilor. (The Continuity of the Rumanians). Editura Ştiintifică şi Enciclopedică, Bucureşti, 1980, p. 155.

13.  Jancsó, Benedek: op. cit., pages  21 and 363.

14. László, Gyula: Emlékezzünk régiekről! (Let us Remember the Old Times!) Móra Ferenc Ifjúsági Könyvkiadó, Budapest., 1979, p.  57.

15. Erdély története. (The History of Transylvania) ed.: Köpeczi, Béla. Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1986. vol. I, p.  58.

16. Karácsonyi, János: Történelmi jogunk hazánk területi épségéhez. (Our Historical Right to our Country´s Territorial Integrity.) Szent István Társulat, Budapest., 1921, p.  38.

17.  Jancsó, Benedek: op. cit.   p. 366.

18.  Erdély története, op. cit.  p. 98.

19.  Erdély története, op. cit.  p. 103.

20. Kristó, Gyula: Az augsburgi csata. (The Battle at Augsburg.) Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1985.  p. 58

21. Helmuth von Glasenapp: Az öt világvallás. (Five World Religions.) 4th ed. Gondolat Kiadó, Budapest. 1984, p. 263.

22. Păcurariu, Mircea: op. cit. p.47.

23. D. Pippidi: Contributii la istoria veche a României.  (Contributions to the Ancient History of Rumania.) 2nd ed.Bucureşti  1976; pages 481‑496.

24. Stoicescu, Nicolae: op. cit., p. 149.

25. Gergely, Jenő: A pápaság története. (The History of the Papacy.) Kossuth Kiadó, Budapest, 1982, p.17.

26. Auner, Carol:  Câteva momente din începuturile bisericii române. (A Number of Episodes from the History of the Rumanian Church.)  Tipografia Seminarului Archid. Gr. Cat. Blaj. Balázsfalva, 1902, p. 21.

27. Stoicescu, Nicolae op. cit. p.149, note 5.

28. Karácsonyi, János: op. cit. p.42


29.  A. Ghimpu‑Bolsacov:  Organizarea bisericii din Scythia Minor în secolul al VI.‑lea. (The Organization of the Church in Scythia Minor in the 6th century.) Glasul bisericii, 1969,  11‑12. pages 1223‑1225.

30.  Stoicescu, Nicolae: op.cit.  p.151.

31.  Maior, Petru: Istoria pentru începutul romînilor în Dachia. (The History of the Origins of the Rumanians from Dacia.) Pesti Magyar Egyetem Királyi Nyomdája,  Buda, 1812. Foreword by Manole Neago. Publisher: Albatros, 1970, p.125.

32  Levárdy, Ferenc: op. cit. p.19.

33. Istoria tarii Românesci de când au  descalecat pravoslavnicii crestini. (The History of Wallachia since the settlement of the Orthodox Christians.)



















(i) Aurelianus Lucius Domitius (212-275) Roman Emperor from 270 A.D.  In 271 A.D. he withdrew his legions from Dacia and the territories south of the Danube and he replaced them in the territory of Moesia. 


(ii) .  Tetrarchy was an ancient form of government in the ancient Asian states.  Such states lived under the rule of four princes.

(iii) The western part of the present Havasalföld.  Before the Turkish rule it was part of Hungary under the name of Szörényi Bánság. 

(iv) Ulfila (Ulfilas, Wulfila, 311-383) a gótok püspöke.  A gót írás összeállítója. A bibliát lefordította gót nyelvre.    

(v) Maior Petru (1761-1821) a monk, teacher, later the Rumanian Greek Catholic priest.   In 1808 he was appointed as the censor of the Royal Press at Buda.  He advocated the theory of the Daco-Roman continuity. 


  (vi) Mithras was the God of Brightness, the Sun-God.


(vii) Illyricum (Illyria), a territory of the Balkans, on the shoreline of the Adriatic Sea, in AD 168 belonged to Rome.  From 1809 to 1813 it belonged to France and from 1815 it belonged to Austria and in 1919 was given to Yugoslavia.


(viii) Dobruja is a territory between the lower Danube, the Black Sea and Bulgaria.  After World War II. the southern part of this territory was given to Bulgaria.  At the time of the Roman Empire, it was called Scythia Minor and later, Moesia Inferior.   

(ix) Between 43 BC and 14 BC, a Roman poet called Ovidius was exiled to the area which is today, Constanta. 

(x) In the Greek Orthodox Church, the Mitropolie was an administrative unit above the bishopric but under the patriarchate.  Originally in the Catholic Church the capital cities of the Roman territories (metropolis) the  archbishops were called bishops. 

(xi) Istria is a peninsula in the northern part of the Adriatic Sea.

(xii) Macedonia is a territory partly in Yugoslavia and partly in northern Greece, on the Balkan Peninsula. 

(xiii) Since 1923, this is a Yugoslavian harbor on the shore of Macedonia in the estuary of the Vardar river.

(xiv) St. Jerome was one of the Fathers of the Church (342-419). He is the Patron Saint of writers and scholars.