National Identity of Romanians in Transylvania

Author: 
ISBN: 
978-963-9116-95-5
cloth
$85.00 / €75.00 / £67.00
Publication date: 
2001
324 pages

This meticulously researched and elegantly written book is the most authoritative study of the emergence of modern Romanian identity in Transylvania during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Based upon a plethora of contemporary published sources, Mitu approaches national identity from a variety of perspectives - from within the Romanian community itself and their reaction to the image others had of them.

The author sheds new light on the problems of self-evaluation using a method he describes as "functional analysis" to examine a complex set of ideologies and propaganda. This approach helps the reader to understand the intricate web of contemporary Romanian nationalism.

National Identity of Romanians in Transylvania appeals to scholars of modern Romanian history, those focusing on the Habsburg Monarchy and the study of modern nationalism. The book is an important contribution to the expanding debate on nationalism and national identity from an East European perspective.

Acknowledgements

INTRODUCTION: THE ARGUMENT

Motivations, Conceptual Background

Why a Self-image?

Why the Transylvanian Romanians?

Why the Beginning of the Modern Era?

Sources and Methods

Notes

 

I. SELF-IMAGE AND IMAGES CONSTRUCTED BY OTHERS

Reflection on One’s Own Condition as a Reaction to Images Constructed by Others

Should the Romanians Reply to Calumnies Uttered by Others?

The Reasons for the Slander

The Romanians, Object of Envy for Foreigners

Perpetually Wronged, Deserted, Forgotten and Betrayed

The Universal Conspiracy against the Romanians              

The Romanians as the Laughing-stock of Others…

...but They Will Show the Others (in the Long Run)

Notions of Comparative Imagology among the Transylvanian Romanians of a Hundred and Fifty Years Ago

A More Refined Attitude to the Images Constructed by Others

Notes

 

II. NEGATIVE DIMENSION OF THE SELF-IMAGE

The Romanians as Self-denigrators: Should They Denigrate

Themselves as Well or Not?

Cultural Backwardness

The Romanians as Occupying the Lowest Place

The Romanians Compared to the Gypsies

The Romanians compared to the Jews

Moral and Behavioural “Flaws” Due to the Nation’s “Specificity”

Lack of Zeal for the National Cause

Keeping to the (Bad) Old Ways: Romanian Hostility towards Progress

“Forms without Substance”: The Moral Corruption of the Romanians by Modern Civilisation

The Unhappy Lot of the Romanians

Notes

 

III.IN BETWEEN THE GOOD AND THE BAD

Idle or Diligent?

“Idle”

“Diligent”

Resistance to Denationalisation--Open towards Assimilation or Resistant to It?

The Capacity for Ethnic–Racial Resistance

The Mixed Marriage as a Means of Altering Ethnic Purity               

Denationalisation: Stigmatising the Élites as Promoters of Assimilation

The Shame of Being a Romanian               

Notes

 

IV.THE HISTORICAL DIMENSION OF THE POSITIVE SELF-IMAGE

Generalities

No Different from Others: The Romanians’ Growing Trust in Their Own Powers   

The Compensatory Function of History

Latin Origins

Saviours of Christian Europe in the Middle Ages

Notes

 

V.THE POSITIVE SELF-IMAGE: BASICS OF NATIONAL IDENTITY

Moral and Behavioural “Qualities”: An Ethnic-Psychological Profile.

The Number and Spreading of the Romanians

The “Spreading” of the Romanians: The Need to Enlarge the Sphere of National Identity

The Number of Romanians: “We Are Many”; “We Are the Most Numerous”

The Number of Romanians: The Whirligig of Figures

Language and Alphabet

The Ideological Reconstruction of the Language

The Alphabet

Church and Religion

Generalities: Preliminaries and Context

Representations of the Relationship between Church and Nationality

The Venerable Age and Purity of Romanian Christianity as Features of National Identity

The Four Identity-related Formulas of Romanian Pluri-confessionalism

The Greek Catholic Formula

The Orthodox Formula

“The Third Way”: Unity of Confessions

The Romanians’ Religious Disunity

Notes

 

VI.CONCLUSIONS

Notes

 

VII. BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Period Sources.

1.1 Unpublished Manuscripts and Documents

1.2 Papers and Periodicals

1.3 Calendars

1.4 Old Books (1780–1830)

1.5 Books (1831–1861)

1.6 Published Correspondence: Volumes and Sets

1.7 Political Memoirs and Petitions

1.8 Poetry: Volumes and Sets

1.9 Anthologies, Document Collections, Working Tools, Critical Editions, Subsequent Re-edits

2. Sources Referring to Other Periods (Late Nineteenth to Twentieth Century

3. Secondary Sources (Specialised Bibliography)

 

Index

"Mitu's work bring to the attention of Western readers the aspirations and writings of a range of Romanian writers and political activists, reveals the ways in which national identity could be articulated in Eastern European societies, and identifies the characteristics ascribed to Romanians as they pressed for a share of political power in Transylvania."
"This book boldly challenges the traditional canons and taboos of Romanian historiography, at a time when innovation is much needed."
"Mitu's study, based on an impressive collection of contemporary documents, is situated in the 'long first half of the nineteenth century,' from the French Revolution to the Revolutions of 1848... Overall, this study constitutes and original and carefully crafted contribution to our understanding of the multifaceted process through which national identities are negotiated in the public realm."