صور الصفحة




The climate of Roumania is one of extremes as regards temperature. Winter and summer are almost equally trying. In the former season the thermometer may sink to – 15° Fahr, while in the latter it may rise to from 90° to 95°. The mean temperature of spring at Bucharest is 53°, summer 72}", autumn 65°, winter 27%". Spring, however, scarcely exists except in name, the interval between the cold winter and hot summer being very short. The autumn, on the other hand, is long and is the most genial season of the year. It lasts to the end of November. Being continuous with the Russian plain, Roumania is exposed to the bitterly cold wind from the north-east by which southern Russia is also scourged. In Roumania this wind, known as crivets, blows on an average 155 days in the year, while a west or south-west wind, called the austru, equally disagreeable for its scorching heat, blows on an average 126 days. The rainfall is not excessive. The number of rainy days in the year is about 74, or only about two-fifths of the number round London. The summer months are those in which the rains are most abundant. Snow is unfrequent (12 days in the year). As regards salubrity the low-lying plains near the Danube are the worst part of the kingdom. Marsh fever is there prevalent, and the tendency to suffer from disease is increased by the miserable character of the dwellings occupied by the peasantry of that district. The houses are mere pits dug out in the ground and covered over with sloping roofs formed of branches and twigs.

Three-fourths of the population are dependent upon agriculture. The plains covered by loess and black soil are admirably adapted for the growth of cereals, and of these the most important are maize, wheat, and barley. The methods of cultivation are to a large extent primitive and imperfect, but great improvements are taking place through the application of foreign capital to the development of the native resources. Improved agricultural im. plements of all kinds have been introduced of late years in great numbers: The old plough, which has a share resembling a lanco head, which enters the ground horizontally and , thus merely scratches the surface, is being rapidly superseded by ploughs of English and Austrian manufacture. These improvements, which have been greatly stimulated by the alteration in the status of the Roumanian peasantry brought about by the law of 1864, and likewise by the introduction of railways, have resulted in an enormous increase in the amount of the production of cereals. Roumania is one of the principal grain-exporting countries in Europe, and the increase in the production just alluded to is sufficiently well indicated by the figures given below relative to the exports of grain to thc United Kingdom. The great variations in these figures, though obviously due in part to political causes, likewise serve to illustrate the chief drawback under which Roumanian agriculture labours— namely, the liability to drought. | Besides forming a valuable article of export maize furnishes the chief food of the people. The great body of Roumanians seldom eat meat except on feast days, and the favourite food is a dish called mamaliga, made by boiling maize-meal and flavouring it ywith a little salt. It thus resembles the hominy of the Americans. In addition to cereals many kinds of vegetables, including garlic, melons, and cucumbers, are grown. Hemp and colza are also important products, and tobacco furnished a considerable article of export until it was made a monopoly of the state in 1872. As already mentioned, wine and numerous fruits are produced on the foot-hills of the o but owing to neglect the products are greatly inferior to what they ought to be. Nothing, it is said, but care in the cultivation of the vine and the preparation and preservation of the wine is necessary to make Roumania a winegrowing country of the first rank. As it is, vines are estimated to cover only about 250,000 acres, or about r}r of the entire surface. From plums the Roumanians extract a strong spirit known as tsuica, and it is chiefly for this that the plum-tree is cultivated.

The rearing of domestic animals is likewise an important industry, but it has not advanced so much of late years as the growth of cereals. The exports of cattle are almost stationary. Oxen are of much more importance than horses, being chiefly used in field labours. Buffaloes also are reared for the purpose, and are much valued for their strength. " Sheep and cattle rearing forms the chief occupation of the sparse population of the Dobrudja.

About one-sixth of the total surface of Roumania is estimated to be covered with forests producing valuable timber trees. Oaks, firs, and beeches are said to be met with having a diameter of more than 8 feet at the height of 33 feet above the ground. The warm

Giurgevo to Bucharest, opened in 1869.

summers and cold winters are favourable to the quality of the wood, which is hard and lasting. Unfortunately there is a good deal of recklessness in the way in which the forests are utilized, and they are said to be fast disappearing; but it is to be hoped that the influence of the College of Agriculture and Sylviculture at Ferestreu, 2 miles from Bucharest, will help to put a check upon this improvidence, as it is without doubt contributing greatly to the promotion of Rounanian agriculture. #. mineral wealth on the Roumanian side of the Carpathians is considerable, but at present there are only three minerals that have any great industrial importance. These are rock-salt, petroleum, and lignite. The salt mines are a state monopoly, and two of them, at Ocna-Mare and Telega, are partly worked by convicts. The depth from which the salt is extracted nowhere exceeds 300 feet. The average quantity of salt sold annually is about 62,000 tons. Lignite is important inasmuch as it is used along with wood on the railways, as well as in brick and lime kilns. Coal is also found, in some places even at the surface, but, though one or two mines have been opened, the total production is insignificant. Ozocerite, or fossil wax, is frequently found in association with lignite, but is used only in small quantity by the peasantry. Among other minerals are anthracite, iron, gold, copper, lead, sulphur, cobalt, and arsenic ; and there is little doubt that some of these at least might be made economically valuable if the resources of the country were adequately developed. So far the manufacturing industries of Roumania are hardly worthy of mention. There are petroleum refineries, one or two sugar refineries, numerous steam-mills for grinding flour, besides large numbers of floating maize-mills on the Danube; but in addition to these there are only a few manufactories at Galatz. From the account just given of the products of Roumania it follows that the exports of the kingdom consist chiefly of raw produce, and above all of cereals, while the imports are mainly composed of manufactured articles. The countries with which the trade is chiefly carried on are Austria (with about 40 per cent of the whole trade in 1883), Great Britain (about 30 per cent.), France (about 10 per cent.), Germany (about 8 per cent.), Turkey, and Russia. The foreign commerce of Roumania is centred in Galatz, which is situated at the bend of the Danube where the river once more turns eastward on reaching the northern extremity of the Dobrudja plateau. From this centre there is one line of railway leading into Russia, while others pass through the interior of Roumania and connect with the Austrian lines in the north and south of Hungary. The first Roumanian railway was that from In 1884 there were about 1000 miles of railway in the kingdom. The internal trade of Roumania is almost entirely in the hands of the Jews. It is greatly hampered by the existence of the octroi in all the large towns, almost all the necessaries of life as well as luxuries being taxed when introduced within the municipal boundaries. See Samuelson, Roumania, Past and Present (London, 1882); Ozanne, Three Years in Roumania (London, 1878); Kanitz, Donau-Bulgarien und der Balkan (1875); and R. Roesler, stonánische Studien. (G. G. C.)

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]





Imports and exports.

The estimated population of the country is 5,376,000, including Popula

about 400,000 Jews and 200,000 Gipsies. millions of the population belong to the Roumania branch of the Orthodox Greek Church, and there are 114,000 Roman Catholics and 13,800 Protestants.

About four and a half tion,


An official analysis of the occupations of the people gives the rudely handled by Roesler in his essay on the oldest history of the following results (the figures representing heads ofamilies):— Walachian voivodeship (Românische Studien, p. 261 sq.). The soAgriculturist 684,168 called “Chronicle of Hurul” is a modern forgery, and our only real griculturlstS. . . . . . . ................................. y --- - - - - - - Artisans and labourers. . 83,061 authorities for the beginnings of Roumanian history are Hungarian, Traders ... . 30,417 Polish, and Byzantine. Officials...................... 22,811 In 1330 the voivode Alexander Dazarad or Bassaraba succeeded Huno, - in inflicting a crushing defeat on his suzerain King Charles of garian Professors and teachers............................ 6,066 - - Medical and legal professions and druggists.. 995 Hungary, and for fourteen years Wallachia o complete inde-supre. - - - - - endence. Louis the Great succeeded for a while in restoring the macy. Artists, musicians, and publicists.............. 2,156 - - - § Priests, monks, and nuns .... 18,452 Hungarian supremacy, but in 1867 theyoivode Vlad or Vladislav Various................................................ 125,815 inflicted another severe defeat on the Hungarians, and succeeded 2 for a time in ousting the Magyar ban of Severin and thus incorTotal --- 973,941 §. Little Walachia, the country west of the Aluta, in his ... --~~~~... o:- ominions. Subsequently, in order to retain a hold on the .# Qf the larger cities Bucharest (Bucurest) numbered in 1876 of the Waiachian Voivode, the king of Hungary invested him wit 221,805 inhabitants, Jassy 90,125, and Galatz 80,763. - the title of duke of Fogaras and Omlas, Rouman districts situate Educa. . In 1883 there were 2742 primary schools with 124,130 *"; in Transylvania, and this investiture seems to have left its impress tion. 8 normal schools with 830 pupils. and 54 high schools with 7993 on the traditional account of Radul Negru. pupils, besides the two universities of Bucharest and Jassy, con; Under the voivode Mircea (1383–1419), whose prowess is still Mircea taining 97 professors and readers and 705 students. It is estimated celebrated in the national folk songs, was chia played for a while that about 1000 young men receive their. university education | a more ambitious part. This prince, during the earlier part of his abroad, mostly at Paris. There is also a ladies' college, called the reign, sought a counterpoise to Hungarian influence in the close Asyle Hélène from its founder in its present form, the Princess ||aliance with King Wladislav Jagiełło of Poland. . He added to his Helena Cuza, and accommodating 230 girls, many of whom are | other titles that of “count of Severin, despot of the Dobrudja, and Learned orphans. Amongst learned institutions the Roumanian Academy lord of Silistria,” and both Widin and Sistov appear in his posinstitu- claims the first place, and excellent contributions on subjects of session. "A Waiachian contingent, apparently Mircea's, aided the tions. national and scientific interest will be found amongst its proceed- Servian Kniaz Lazar on the fatal field of Kosovo; later he was led ings (Analele Academici Romane, 1878 sq.). The academy building by the force of circumstances to ally himself with his former at Bucharest contains the national library of over 30,000 volumes | chem Sigismund of Hungary against Bajazet, and in 1396 shared and a fine archaeological museum containing many Old Dacian with #. the disaster of Nikopolis. , Bajazet subsequently invaded antiquities. - and laid waste a large part of Walachia, but the voivode succeeded Army. The peaco strength of the permanent army, consists of 1200 in inflicting considerable loss on the retiring Turks, and the capture officers and 18,532 men, with 180 guns, Besides, this, there are of Bajazet by Timur in 1462 gave the country a reprieve. In the the territorial army; consisting of 120,000 men and 84 guns; the internecine struggle that followed amongst the sons of Bajazet, militia, consisting of thirty-two regiments of infantry ; and finally | Mircea espoused the cause of Musa; but, though he thus obtained the levée on masse. Every, Roumanian, from his twenty-first to his for a while considerable influence in the Turkish councils, this forty-sixth year, is obliged, to serve his time in one of the above | policy eventually drew on him the vengeance of Sultan Mahomet I., categories. The total of the Roumanian forces, exclusive of the who succeeded in reducing him to a tributary position, levée en masse, amounts to about 150,000 men and 288 guns. During the .# #: the Walachian Fo a lo. - - - - - alternately as the allies of Hungary or the creatures of the Turk. Mediæval and Modern History of Walachia and Moldavia. In the i. battle of Kosovo of 1448, between Hunyadi and Sultan Roumania is the name officially adopted by the united kingdom | Murad, the Walachian contingent treacherously surrendered to the that comprises the former principalities of Walachia and Moldavia. | Turks, but this did not hinder the victorious sultan from massacrin In its native form it, appears simply as “Romania,” representing the prisoners and adding to the tribute a yearly contribution o the claim to Roman descent put forward by its inhabitants. . These 3000 javelins and 4000 shiélds. In 1453 Constantinople fell; in call themselves “Romani” or “Rumeni,” but by their neighbours, 1454 Hunyadi died; and two years later, the sultan invaded Slavonic, Greek, Magyar, and German, they are universally known | Walachia to set up Vlad IV., the son of a former voivode. The ylad t § one or other form of the word “Wlach.” As, however, this father of this Vlad had himself been notorious for his ferocity, Impal lach or Rouman race occupies a far wider area than that included but his son, during his Turkish sojourn, had improved on his in the o Roumanian kingdom, it may be convenient to post- father's example, . He was known in Walachia as “Dracul,” or the pone the vexed questions connected with its origin, migrations, Devil, and has left a name in history as Vlad the Impaler. The and distribution for more general treatment under the heading stories of his ferocious savagery exceed belief. He is said to have VLACHS, and to confine ourselves on this occasion to Roumania. | feasted amongst his impaled victims. When the sultan Mahomet, proper—the country between the Carpathians, the Lower Danube, infuriated at the impalement of his envoy, the pasha of Widin, who o the Black Sea. It may be sufficient here to observe that, had been charged with Vlad's deposition, invaded Walachia in according to the concurrent accounts from various sources, the person with an immense host, he is said to have found at one spot great plains of the later Walachian and Moldavian principalities a forest of pales on which were the bodies of men, women, and were first occupied by an immigrant Rouman population coming children. he voivode Radul, who was now substituted for from the Carpathian lands and the present Transylvania in the this monster by Turkish influence, was constrained to pay a tribute early Middle Ages. According to the Russian Nestor and the of 12,000 ducats. earliest Hungarian chroniclers, the Carpathian region, includin The shifting policy of the Walachian princes at this time is State $racts of eastern Hungary, were occupied by a Rouman (“Roman”) well described in a lettor of the Hungarian king, Matthias tool** population at the time of the Magyar invasion in the 9th century. Casimir of Poland. “The voivodes,” he writes, of Walachia and . 3n the other hand, the meagre annals of the plains that lie on | Moldavia fawn alternately upon the Turks, the Tatars, the Poles, the left bank of the Lower Danube are exclusively occupied till at and the Hungarians, that among so many masters their perfidy least the 11th century with Slovenes, Potchenegs, Cumans, and may remain unpunished.” . The provalent laxity of marriage, the Bulgarians. Whatever title the Carpathian Roumans may have frequency of divorce, and the fact that illegitimate children could co be considered the descendants in situ of the Romanized pro- succeed as well as those born in lawful wedlock, by multiplying vincials of Trajan's Dacia, it seems fairly ascertained that the the candidates for the voivodeship and preventing, any regular present extension of this easternmost branch of the Latin peoples | system of succession, contributed much to the internal confusion of aver the Walachian and Moldavian plains is due to a colonizing §. country. The elections, though often controlled by the Divan, ..movement from the Alpine regions H. the west, effected for the were still constitutionally in the hands of the boiars, who were most part in the 12th and succeeding centuries. split up into various factions, each with its own pretender to the Walachia.-For the early history of the Walachlan (Walachian, j." The princes followed one another in rapid succession, or Wallachian) principality the native sources are late and untrust. and a large proportion met with violent ends. . A large part, of worthy. These sources really reduce themselves to a single chron- the population led a pastoral life, and at the time of Verantius's visit acle, a part of which appears to have been drawn up in the 16th to W. in the earlyP. of the 16th century the towns, and century in Bulgaro-Slovene, and of which two Rouman translations villages were built of wood and wattle and daub. Tirgovișt alone, Radul have seen the light. This “History of the Rouman land since at this time the capital of the country, was a considerable town, Negru, the arrival of tho Roumans” (Istoria tierei Romanesci de cándi, aw with two stone castles. Nagul Bassaraba, who succeeded in 1512, descălicata Romanii) gives a precise account of the founding of the was a great builder of monasteries, and, besides erecting a monastic Walachian state by Radul Negru, voivode of the Roumans of church at Argish, which he coated with white marble, and a new Fogaras in Transylvania, who in 1290 descended with a numerous | cathedral at Tirgovist, adorned Mount Athos with his pious work; people into the Transalpine plain and established his capital first He transferred the direct allegiance of the Walachian Church at Cimpulungú and then at Argish. Radul dies in 18iá and is to Constantinople. On Nagul's death, however, in 1521, the succeeded by a series of voivodes whose names and dates are duly brief period of comparative prosperity which his architectural given; but this early chapter of Walachian history has been | works attest was tragically interrupted, and it seemed for a time

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic]
[ocr errors][graphic][graphic]
« السابقةمتابعة »