Mircea Pacurariu

Over two thousand years ago, the present territory of Romania was inhabited by Geto-Dacians, the northern wing of the Thracian people. In the second century bce the Geto-Dacian state reached the height of its political power, after which came a decline. The Roman Empire gradually conquered some territories in the Balkan Peninsula, and made them Roman provinces: Illyricum (59 bce), Pannonia (9 ce), and Moesia (15 ce), which was later divided into Moesia Superior and Moesia Inferior. In 46 ce, the territory between the Danube and the Black Sea (which nowadays belongs to Romania and is known as Dobrudja) was annexed to Moesia Inferior. However, in 297, it became a separate province, Scythia Minor. In 106 ce, the Roman Emperor Trajan conquered and transformed the largest part of the Dacian state into a Roman province, Dacia.

The territories annexed by the Roman Empire underwent a process of Romanization, both of the local Thraco-Getic-Dacian population, and of the language, to the extent to which one can speak of a 'Balkan Romanity', or an 'Eastern (Oriental) Romanity'. In these territories, Christianity was introduced as early as the 'apostolic age', by St Paul and his disciples.

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