Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Rumanians, a people of the Lower Danube basin and Balkan Peninsula, who are distinguished from all the surrounding populations by their Romance (Neo-Latin) speech, and who are therefore supposed by many ethnologists to be the dircct descendants of the Roman military colonists settled in Dacia (the present Rumania) after its conquest by Trajan, hence often called "Daco-Romans." But there are some almost insuperable objections to this theory, and, despite their apparent homogeneity, the Rumanians are now known to be of extremely mixed descent, including, besides a slight Daco-Roman substratum, Goths, Huns, Gepidae, Slavs, and others, all of whom, thanks to their remarkable power of assimilating foreign elements, have been completely merged in a single homogeneous nationality of uniform speech, customs, and political aspirations. Besides the aberrant Kutzo-Vlachs (q.v.) of the Pindus Range, there are three main divisions-(1) the Moldavians; (2) the Wallachians, these two forming the great bulk of the inhabitants of the kingdom of Rumania, and numbering about 4,500,000; (3) the Rumanians of Transylvania and other parts of Hungary - 2,630,OOO - to which must be added numerous Rumanian communities in Austria, Servia, Bulgaria, and Bessarabia (Russia), making a total population of from 9 to 10 millions of Rumanian speech. This Italic language, which is cultivated and written both in the Cyrillic (Slav) and Roman alphabets, contains many Slav, Turkish, and Greek elements and is distinguished from the other Neo-Latin tongues both by its phonetic system and by some structural peculiarities, such as the postfixed article, probably an inheritance of the old Thraco-Illyric language, surviving also in modern Bulgarian and Albanian; thus, omul = "man-the," from the Latin homo ille. Rumanian is spoken almost everywhere with remarkable uniformity, so that there are no distinct dialects except that of the Kutzo-Vlachs. (Rossler; Paul Hunfalvy.)