Transylvania (Romanian: Ardeal, Transilvania, Hungarian: Erdély)

Eliznik home > Romania > ethnographical history > Transylvania

Bronze age
Iron age & Dacia
Roman empire
Gepids & Goths
Voivode rulers

The modern region of Transylvania generally includes the medieval region of Transylvania plus the Banat, Crişana and Maramureş. These regions were incorporated into Romania in 1920.

Summary history


The Transylvanian plateaux has been populated continuously from the earliest times  - from the early Neolithic Gura Baciului culture, through the Bronze age when Transylvania dominated regional Bronze production, then the Iron age resulting in the Dacian kingdom.

After Roman Dacia

The period after the Roman withdrawal is also know as the age of migrations where successive invading powers held Transylvania.

There are a few archaeological sites which are cited with continuous occupation through this period: 367 graves have been found at Bratei, 193 tombs at Soporul de Câmpie, 193 tombs at Soporul de Câmpie, cemeteries at Alba,  Bietan and surrounding settlements, and sites in Brasov region including Felmer, and Sercaia with Daco-Roman settlements.

The practicality is that it is unlikely that a pastoral or shepherding population would have left much archaeological evidence.

In terms of adoption of language, costume and customs the Slavs would appear to have had the greatest influence on the Vlachs.

The early years of Hungarian acquisition

Very little is documented in chronicles referring to Transylvania, although much is known about the Hungarian kingdom in the other regions including Bihar on the borders between the Hungarian plain and the mountains into Transylvania:

1199 - Transylvanian Voivodes

The Voivode of Transylvania was a territorial governor to the Hungarian crown. This title has Slavic origins possibly  prior to the Hungarian conquest of the region. This title existed until the Principality of Transylvania was formed in the 16th century.

1571 - Principality of Transylvania

Events leading to the Principality of Transylvania:

Principality of Transylvania was a semi-independent state existing from 1571 to 1711.

1691 - Habsburg acquisition

Events leading to the Habsburg acquisition of Transylvania:

1867 - Incorporation of Transylvania into Hungary

1919 - Union of Romania and Transylvania


© Eliznik2005, Last updated Feb-08