Romanians and Power in the Mediaeval Kingdom of Hungary- The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries
5. “Masters of our own land for a thousandyears”: The ancientness of the Romanians as portrayed by the official documents
5. “Masters of our own land for a thousand years”: The ancientness of the Romanians as portrayed by the official documents Projected into as distant a past as possible, national ideology played an im- portant role in the modern tendency to homogenise the states and to form compact nations. According to this ideology, the Hungarian nobiliary nation, considered to have become active shortly after the year 1000 (after the founding of the Christian kingdom), had to appear as the direct predecessor of the modern unitary nation, while the minorities were to be pictured as outnumbered, overshadowed or of more recent extraction than the majori- ty. In such a general context, the Romanians also had to be depicted, espe- cially in certain political and (politically subservient) scientific circles, as late and unofficial emigrants to Transylvania. They were therefore not entitled to con-civility, that is, to equality with the Hungarians, the Saxons and the Szeklers. Specialised research has shown, however–beyond any doubt–that it was not the tardy and covert arrival of the most numerous people in Tran- sylvania that had determined their inferior status, but altogether different facts and circumstances, which will be discussed below. Hundreds of narra- tive testimonies dating back to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (chron- icles, histories, travelogues, reports, epistles, memoirs, and so on) reveal the ancientness of the Romanians north of the Danube (especially from Transyl- vania) and their descent from the soldiers and colonists brought here by the Roman emperors who had conquered...
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