The Psychology Of The Romanian People (1907)

The few words that I put as motto at the beginning of this book can be translated like this: "God must have had a hidden plan for this people that the western states rediscovered on the banks of the Danube and adopted like Pharaoh's daughter adopted Moses." These words represent the thoughts of a French writer on realizing how many disasters the Romanian people got out of and through how many trials it survived. According to his most inner beliefs, the future of our people appeared astounding, overwhelming. A providential fate looked upon us, having chosen and kept us to fulfill some secret intention. Le Cler saw in us, in the miracle of our survival, the signs and the hope of a people chosen by providence. Far from having the same trust in our future was another foreigner that studied us around the beginning of the 19th century. On the contrary, Charles Pertusier wrote that he didn't see "in the Romanians of whatever social condition the slightest motivation, the slightest energy, not even the slightest trace of a warrior, and consequently, not even the slightest of the ideas that enable one to foresee a higher destiny to a nation. If you knew to read in its destiny, you could predict that, certainly, it would never get its independence." A fool and a liar this prophet was, fortunately for us. Anyway, the opinions of the civilized world on us were divided between these two extremes. Both these opinions had their foundation. Pertusier, a more superficial and positivist observer, took note of the striking faults, flaws and weak points of the Romanian will and mind. Le Cler saw better, because he saw deeper and he could notice and suspect that the negative traits, the weakness of the Romanian will and mind are the nasty outcome of hard times, and that, under this, there are hidden positive traits and spiritual treasures with great future. The truth is that our tumultuous and unhappy past trained only the weak spiritual traits that were not favourable to us – the faults, adding to our innate moral flaws new ones. The positive qualities (sic!), the riches of our mind were prevented from their natural development, waited and wait still for favourable circumstances to appear. In the last fifty years, these favourable circumstances started to appear. Our mind, at present, enters a period of creation and fulfilling. All the signs of the times make us suppose that we are at a turn in history, which lays ahead of us a happier perspective than that which lies beyond us. The future seems destined to erase the stains from our spiritual portrait, to improve and fill the flaws. This future will involve from now on the qualities and the treasures of our nature, to offer them the opportunity to develop and to fulfill in works of our own, but of universal value. This book will demonstrate that, indeed, our mind is universal through its origin, that almost all peoples in Europe enriched themselves, spiritually, with works from the Romanian spirituality. Bucharest, 26th October, 1906 *** Chapter II. Elements of the Psychology of the Romanian People Even if we should like to give account of the racial anatomical structure of our population, this is impossible at the moment. There hasn't been a serious research of the present ethnical composition of the Romanian people. What is obvious for everybody, are the following two things: 1) the Romanian people is a mixture and a confusion of races impossible to make out and to classify; 2) the brachycephalic type is the predominant element in our population of all social strata. The whole importance of the race factor is surpassed by the psychological point of view, in relation to which this element, considered as purely historical, should be presented. That's why the main question that we face is: which particular race does the Romanian people belong to? The direct answer that is given to this question, from the beginning, is that the Romanian people does not belong to a single historical race, that the people, more than all the other known peoples, is comprised of an indefinite, chaotic mixture of multiple and various races. Indeed, in various proportions, a great number of various peoples came to mingle and unite, to give birth to the Romanian people. This people is made of the oddest ethnic material in an indefinite, bizarre variety of proportions according to which this mixture was made. Respecting the chronological order, without regard to the importance of the proportions, there can be distinguished, in this desperate confusion of races, the following elements we are most sure of. Our first ethnic background is, indubitably, Thracian. It is formed of the well-known Geto-Dacians that had to absorb, at their arrival, numerous elements, remaining, between the Danube and the Carpathians, from the former populations of these countries: the Scythians and the Agathirshians. So, the first psycho-ethnic material of the Romanian people is Scytho-Thracian. There have been numerous theories on the ethnical relatedness of the Thracians. There are a lot of arguments that are summed up by Bergmann's work, proving that the Geto-Dacians would be a tribe departed from the trunk of the Germanic races. So, the Geto-Dacians would be brothers of the Scandinavians, the Danes, and the Saxons. To this first level would, soon, engraft the Latin blood and especially the Latin civilization. The Latin civilization, the psychological and moral fund it was made of, is characteristic and rather well-known. We shall summarize and clear them up in their due time. Now the issue in question is the composition of the Latin element that was imprinted on the Geto-Dacian one. The Latin blood that mingled with the Thracian one wasn't either so pure or so clear. Even this Latin blood was a mixture coming from too various sources. "After the submission of the Dacians, Eutropius writes, Trajan brought here a numerous crowd from the entire Roman world to work the fields and rebuild the cities." "Thus came, says N. Iorga, people from Italy…or from the peaceful and diligent camps of the field workers, or craftsmen from various branches or victorious Gauls in search of gold, Asians, Egyptians etc…" "This crowd of distinct people, coming from Gaul, Pannonia, Illyria, Dalmatia, Asia Minor, Italy had to have a common language to understand each other and which language could that be if not the official language of the Empire?" Besides these colonies, mostly of civilians, commercial, with an economic role, one should take into account the ethnic elements that made up the cohorts. Thus, A.D. Xenopol reminds us that "Britons' cohorts were found in Dacia." The Latin blood, engrafted on the Thracian organism from Dacia was very mixed up. In it entered in different, unknown proportions the Latin blood proper, Gaulish, Illyrian, Dalmatian and even Briton. The Illyrians gave the greatest proportion from these different ethnic elements. The population on the right bank of the Danube and especially from today's Macedonia and Albania was Illyrian, Romanized. It is no doubt that the greatest part of the colonists must have come from there. It must also be taken into account that, besides this, the populations on both sides of the river kept in touch with one another, mingled continuously, and when part of this population of the colonies was withdrawn from Dacia to Moesia, these populations became one. Later their resultant population spread again on both banks, and with the invasion of the Huns, Goths and Avars, that dashed in the middle of the Dacian province, the united Romanized populations broke up and spread again, some towards north, some towards south. That is why the Illyrian blood contributed, after the Thracian and the Latin one, in a big proportion to the birth of the Romanian people. That is why, according to Mr. Onciu's opinion, the first ethnic background of the Romanian people is Latin and Thracian-Illyrian. Almost at the same time with the Huns and the Avars came to these lands, in the first half of the sixth century, the Slav tribes, pushed down by the furious, invading movements of the Huns and the Avars. These Slav elements, known under various names: Venetians, Sclavinians, Antians running away from the savage Avars, withdrew to the farthest hidden places that were already filled by the Romanic populations, that had arrived and hidden there for the same reason. "This way spread over the whole Dacia the Slav peoples, who came over the Romanians not as invaders, but as refugees themselves from an invasion, searching not prey but salvation." The Slavs lived in Dacia's mountains in common with the Romanic populations. "They came, says Mr. Iorga, not in the classic way of the barbarians…dramatically snatching, with their hands full of blood, the curtain of world history: they appeared, on the contrary, slowly, calm and sure of themselves, in small tribes, carrying the tools for working the land on the war carts and accompanied by the flocks of sheep and herds of oxen." Later when the danger of the Avars was headed towards the west of Europe, the Romanic-Slavic populations started to come down to the plains and set the foundation of a settled peaceful life by working the land. Certainly, out of this common life couldn't but appear a process of mutual union. It is clear that the Romanian element was more powerful, more active, and the multitude of the Slav population dissolved in it. The latter left, in its turn, undeletable and numerous traces in the ethnic structure of our people. Here is the way Mr. Xenopol describes this process of fusion: "…Being very numerous, the Slavs invaded Transylvania first, the Trans-Carpathian countries and today's Romania. From here and especially from Wallachia, where they were refreshed by the flow of the population from north to south, they started to invade the territories across the Danube, settling them, gradually. Whereas those who came in the Carpathians' fortress were absorbed by the Romanian element, those from the Moldavian and Wallachian plains remained themselves for a longer time, until they were denationalized by the arrival of the Romanians from the mountains to the plains, after the formation of the Principalities. The Slav element was so important to the formation of the Romanian people that Mr. Iorga believes that the Romanian nation couldn't have been born and couldn't have become stronger without the arrival and the incorporation of the Slav elements into the Romanic or Romanized ones. It lacked, in the fifth century, the indispensable barbarian element, because the old Thracian foundation was no longer valid. The Germans didn't exactly live in Dacia, they only appeared in the Romanian countries in the south of the Danube… The Huns were barely numerous enough to rule Pannonia… There had to be a Slav invasion to make possible the formation of a Romanian people in the east. Between the years 800 and 1200, i.e. for four centuries, the Bulgarian element, south of the Danube, and the Hungarian one, in the north-west of the Carpathians, spread their domination, which became a peaceful one, and covered the Thracian-Illyrian and Latin-Slav strata, that lived spread in villages and towns in old Dacia and Moesia. The fate of the Romanized peoples seemed decided and settled between these two Finnish-Mongolic elements. The Romanian nation, shapeless and powerless, spread like colorless, shallow water over the whole of Trajan's Dacia, Moesia and beyond the Balkans. The invasion of the various barbarian peoples, and especially those of the Bulgarians and the Hungarians was like the overflowing of some thicker and heavier waters, that mingled for the moment with the neo-Latin water, and then they separated, became clear, and settled, one part in today's Bulgarian plains, the other in the endless fields of Pannonia. The neo-Latin water, light like the oil or the alcohol, goes up in light vapors towards the Balkan or the Carpathian Mountains. There it was preserved under the clean form of snow which, in time, especially the element from the Carpathians, spread in peaceful torrents scattered in the fruitful and large plain from the left side of the Danube. These Romanian torrents, coming down from the mountains, make up the second foundation of the Romanian people. This separation, clarification and settlement of the neo-Latin waters didn't last long. They were soon troubled again by a torrent of Mongolian origin: the Turks. But even before the Turks their brothers, the Tatars often brandished their spears and prepared the way for the Turk invasions. Towards the end of the 15th century, the Turks reach the Danube. The Wallachian Principality submits to them. A century later, the Moldavians do the same. Transylvania falls under their occupation a century later. Turkish oppression rules the Romanian people from around 1390 till around 1880. Almost five centuries. Although the Turkish domination lasted so long, it didn't have, in the given circumstances, much effect upon us. Much bigger than that of the Hungarians, the Turkish influence is, still, smaller than the Slavs'. In any case, with the Turks the Mongolian influence upon the Romanian soul, became even stronger. It must be taken into account. Our historical connections with the Turks are the most powerful factor that determined on a purely social scale the fate of our people and the path of its development. Our submission to the Turks is the most important moment of our history. All the despair and all the trials our people faced derive from it. Even the national preservation and the causes of the Romanian social degeneration derive from it. The sequence of violent and savage trials ends with the Turkish-Tatar invasion. The barbarian invasions stop to let in some half-civilized invasions and influences. These invasions and influences are those of the Greeks and of the Russians. Indeed, with other means, the modern Greek element invaded slowly the soul of the Romanian people. They first came here as merchants, and could be found, in the years before that in the towns near the Black Sea: Cetatea Alba, Chilia. "The fall of Constantinople, determining many Greeks to leave their country, an important part of them – the educated – emigrated to western countries, where they could make a living from their wisdom, and common Greeks went to the Romanian countries." (Xenopol). The invasion of the Greeks in the Romanian land took place after this element left Constantinople. Besides trade, religion was the formal reason under which the descendants of the corrupt and degenerated Constantinople sneaked into our countries. In the modern era of the history of our country, besides the submission to the Turks, there cannot be cited another event of importance causing the unhappiness of our people as the peaceful and insidious invasion of the Greeks. However, the influence the Greeks had on Romanians is closely related to that of the Turks. The Greek influence on the Romanian people was social, cultural and economic. There is no doubt that the Greeks had an important contribution, good or bad or maybe both, to the spiritual material that makes up the Romanian conscience. The connections with the Russians, their invasions in the Romanian countries, as well as their vicinity had an influence upon our soul as well. That was especially because this Slav element found in the composition of our soul a great part of psychological material identical to the Russian one. The Russian elements reinforced in our conscience the old Slav influence. At last, in modern times, and especially in the middle quarters of the 19th century, there appears a powerful French influence. This influence took place in special circumstances. It wasn't brought to us by the ethnic invasion of the French population in the Romanian countries, on the contrary, it was due to the settling in France, for various periods of time, of the Romanian youths. This influence is a phenomenon unique in history. No other people has ever imitated the characteristics and the culture, some forms of culture, of another people in such a spontaneous, natural, profound and persisting way. Obviously, French spirituality, itself the result of a long evolution of Roman spirituality, was for the unpolished soul of the Romanians, which was also an altered deviation from the Romans, like an explicit model is for a beginner in the art of drawing. The Romanian people began to make up its spiritual portrait according to French spirituality. Its spiritual material tended to follow the firm lines, whose shape tried to imitate that of the French, so big were the affinity and the relationship of origin of these two souls. Our language, grammar and syntax were profoundly modified by this influence. Not even the Slav influence was so general and so fundamental. If one compares a fragment of Romanian prose from the 17th and 18th centuries with a fragment from the 19th century, one will notice a truly profound difference between these two different ways of thinking and of expressing themselves of the Romanians, in such a short period of time. The French language and spirituality were for the Romanians' unfinished language and spirituality like a crystal that falls in a chemical solution with a similar composition, which tends to crystallize and forms identical crystals under its influence. This is how we can explain easily the powerful influence, through imitation, of everything that is French. The last decade of the 19th century and these first years of the century we live in are marked by a German influence, that tends to replace, managing to do so very little, the French influence. The reality of these influences and our sense of imitation are so true that an anonymous French writer said: "The Romanians borrowed the manners and the vices of the peoples that governed or protected them, as one of them confessed; they borrowed from the Greeks the shrewd spirit in doing business; from the Phanariot princes their mixture of low manners and vanity. They borrowed from the Russians their debauchery, from the Turks laziness; the Polish rendered them their divorce."[…] It is very interesting to see the Dacians' way of life because it seems to be exactly the same as the one our population has had until recently. They bred and grazed domestic animals, that's why they were nicknamed milk-eaters. "The national food of the Dacians was millet," although it is proven that they had wheat that they kept in holes in the ground, which is actually the way it was kept in our country until quite soon. "Millet, says Mr. Xenopol, seems to constitute the basic food of the inhabitants of the Romanian countries until modern times. In the same way, a catholic missionary that visited Wallachia around 1670 says that the entire people feeds itself on millet bread and Michael the Brave is nicknamed by the Sashi [Saxons], who were mocking him, King Maize. As drink the Geto-Dacians had wine, as they had been growing vine for a long time. They built their houses out of wood or of walls made out of tree branches, painted, just as we can see today with the greatest part of poor peasants, especially in Moldavia. As for the clothing, it is enough to watch carefully a Dacian carved on Trajan's Column in Rome, to see that the clothes of our peasants, especially in the mountain parts are almost the same as those of the Dacians. "The primitive inhabitant of Dacia, says Mr. d'Haussez, appears even today with his braca and his hat, with a broad sash and the peasant sandals tied with leather lacing, the clothes that characterize the Dacians in the bas-reliefs of Trajan's Column. The women kept until today the piece of cloth (marama) that covers alongside with the hair, the chin and the neck." Unlike other ancient people, the Dacians wore large trousers, long up to the ankle, that are no others than the trousers of our people from Olt. "On their feet they wore a sort of peasant sandals tied with leather lacing; the head of the nobles was covered with a sort of Phrygian cap, but which is not made of lamb skin… The body was covered in a tunic, long up to the knee and tied at the waist." But the greatest resemblance between the Romanians and the Dacians is in the hairstyle "that seems to be today as it was then, with a fringe and long in the back." What was truly overwhelming in the spiritual life of the Dacians was the idea of immortality that can be found with the Scythians. "This idea made up the foundation of all the peoples of Thracian race the Dacians were part of." "…While with all ancient peoples this idea was surpassed by the development of the secondary results of the religious idea… with the Getae it became the center around which orbited all the religious ideas, their entire moral life." The legend says that a prophet of the Dacians, called Zamolxis, a slave from Samos, slave to Pythagoras, coming back as a rich man to the Thracian countries, where he belonged, built there a settlement where he gathered the most important citizens, gave them to eat and during the feast he would teach them that those received by him as guests at the table would never die, but they would be moved in a place where they could enjoy all the things they wanted, forever. While he was teaching them these he had a room built secretly underground, and when it was ready he disappeared for three years. The Thracians mourned him like a dead but in the fourth year he appeared again confirming himself the things he taught his fellowmen. The idea of the immortality of the soul was so powerful in the mind and the character of the Geto-Dacians that a great part of their moral and spiritual life, the manners, their spirituality, their character derived partly from this idea. It explains, for instance, the Thracian custom "that when a child was born, all his relatives, surrounding him, wept at the evils that it would have to suffer, from the moment he was born, and they counted all the sorrows that lay ahead of him. But at the death of one of their fellow citizens, they enjoyed, and covered him with earth joking, and congratulated him on being free of the evils of this life." As Mr. Xenopol notices, this custom is still in use today with the Romanians in Macedonia, for "at a baby's baptism the old women cry, taking into consideration the misfortunes that lie ahead in life, after it becomes mature." This characteristic and basic trait of the Geto-Dacians' psychology explains their behavior, and especially the way they fought and died at war. "The idea of immortality, says Mr. Xenopol, deeply rooted in them, must have engaged with difficulty their strength in the earthly life… So they couldn't fear it (death), but they wanted it and blessed it when it came, especially on the battlefield, where they fought for the country and freedom. That's why all the ancient writers say that these peoples were very brave and almost unbeatable, through the contempt for life and their wish for death." The case of a Getic king, Dapyx, is quoted who, being betrayed by a Greek, and having to surrender with his army, kills himself together with his comrades. From this trait comes the pride that this people showed in different circumstances. So, they preferred death instead of the shame of being taken in the triumphal parade of the winner. Instead of giving themselves away as slaves and their country and the capital to the emperor Trajan, "they set themselves and the capital on fire, and at the light of the flame they gather around the poison vessel, thrust the daggers into their heart or ask their friends to do them this last favor." The idea of the immortality of the soul generated the cruelty that characterized the Dacians. Killing enemies was, in their opinion, doing them a favor; that's why they had to torture to punish. In the war with the Romans the prisoners were tortured in the cruelest way by the Dacian women. To this deeply-rooted belief in the immortality of the soul they owed, on the other hand, the fasting and the abstaining from the pleasures of this world, the asceticism of a certain class of monks. They lived unmarried and they didn't eat meat. In their asceticism they reached even the Buddhist idea of Nirvana. Related to this part of their character, we should consider the fact that the Dacians had an admirable will power, and an admirable power of self-control, of fixing a limit to their habits, especially when they weren't good. So, the word is that Boerebista with the help of the prophet Deceneus, to stop the wine lust, ordered the Dacians to destroy the vines. The Dacians received this order and carried it out precisely. The same way, it is said that being once defeated by the Bastarns, the Getae were condemned by their king to sleep with their head where they put their feet and to serve the women. Besides the character of warriors, which was fundamental for the Dacians and which came from their belief in the immortality of the soul, the Dacians display in their history an active, keen mind willing to learn from the enemies and to imitate Roman civilisation. So, they appear as a people open to the civilizing influences coming from abroad, from other peoples whose superiority in war was obvious. As a people of warriors they hated working the field, and practiced agriculture as little as they could. It is said that they considered the greatest honor to be that of not working: to work the land was for them the lowest form of existence, to live on prey, the noblest one. The Geto-Dacians lived in tribes that were always quarrelling or having internal fights. They were an intelligent people and many of the circumstances in their history show their swiftness and ingenuity. So is the lunch Dromichetes served Lysimachus in gold vessels while he and his party used clay and wood vessels. That was to scold him because he wanted to conquer the poor and primitive Dacians, as Lysimachus came to rule the Geto-Dacians' lands. We must also mention the example given by Oroles to the different scattered tribes, to teach them to unite in front of the enemy. He made two dogs fight one another, releasing a wolf in front of them the moment they were the most absorbed by the fight. The dogs stopped their fight and chased the wolf." But the most important trait of the Geto-Dacians is their duplicity, cunning, simulation and the cleverness to cheat. The embodiment of these traits was maybe Decebalus, the great hero the Dacian history talks about. Dio Cassius portrays him as follows: "Gifted in the art of war and a good warrior, knowing when to strike and when to withdraw, cunning in setting traps and quick, knowing how to use the victory, and to make up for defeat…" The following deeds of the Dacians reinforce and prove these spiritual characteristics. It is said that Decebalus, to prevent the Romans from moving forward to Sarmisegetuza [his capital], had a forest cut to a man's height and dressed the trunks with clothes and arms so that they looked like a big army that deceived the Romans. The humble way in which the Dacians asked the peace from Trajan is deceiving. "They fell on their knees, stretching their hands towards him as a sign of despair and begging his mercy." But the prerequisites for peace were daring. As the war went on, Decebalus, cornered, begs on his knees for peace under the most humiliating terms ever. "But he wasn't thinking of respecting the prerequisites, he just wanted to escape the difficult situation he was in." Trajan had hardly reached Rome when Decebalus broke all the oaths and conditions. We must also take into account all sorts of traps that Decebalus set for the Roman emperor: the deserters sent to kill him, the capturing, by deceit, of Longinus, a commander very much loved by Trajan, etc. In short, the Geto-Dacians' psychology was this: a people of shepherds showing great faith in the immortality of the soul, brave, extremely cruel, balanced, defying death, with a strong will and a keen mind, open and sharp; they had, besides these traits, a cunning, a hypocrisy, a simulation capacity renowned in the whole ancient world. These data about the Geto-Dacian psychology are very valuable, we will see them bursting out later in the character of the great heroes of our people, be it in Moldavia or in Wallachia and in the other countries inhabited by the Romanians. The Romans If the traits of the Dacians passed into our character, as we will see in detail in the following pages, those of the Romans, that left us the language and its spiritual contents, must have passed especially into our intelligence. Let's see first of all in short to what extent the Romans have contributed with psychological material, with spiritual traits of their own to the making up of our soul. If we measure the spiritual traits that we have from the Romans according to the spoken language, it is certain that our mind is like the language, made mostly of Roman elements. The spiritual Romanic element must be predominant in the Romanians' psychology, because the predominant linguistic element in our language is Latin. "The Romanian language, says Mr. O. Densusianu, as it is today, shows that the Romanization of the country, in which it appeared, must have been rather profound. Everything that is characteristic in it is purely Latin. However numerous the foreign elements in its vocabulary may be, the Romanian language wasn't changed in its foundation, it maintained its character of Romance language, in spite of the less auspicious circumstances in which it developed." The philologists agree that the Romanian language derives from the vernacular Latin brought by Trajan's colonists to Dacia. To be clearer, our language derives especially from the common Latin, developed in the entire Balkan Peninsula, before and after the conquest of Dacia. That's why, as the language is the vehicle of the spirit, our mind will maintain the traces of Roman intelligence, as it developed in the Latin world of the Balkans. So, let's summarize the essential traits of the Roman character and mind that passed in the composition of our soul.
According to Mr. Bovio and Mr. Puglia, cited by Mr. Fouillé, the Romans' temper was violent, they had an energetic and tenacious will, in turns restrained and unleashed. "The really characteristic trait of the Romans, that constituted their strength as well, was this will, impulsive and at the same time sure of itself." "Ploughmen, soldiers and lawyers, this is what the ancient Latins were, a settled and uniform race, mean and greedy"… "The tenacious and prudent Roman. Here bent on the plough, there equipped with the spear, he always worked; he didn't fight for the pleasure of fighting itself: the war was for him a work, more difficult than the fight with an arid soil." The Romans were, indeed defeated in more battles, but never in a war. They had not as much as military genius as political genius. They had a stubborn nature, distinguished themselves through discipline, perseverance and cautious stability, through calculations and slow combinations, through the effort co-coordinated towards a certain goal. "The great intellectual virtue of the Romans was the profound feeling they had about the general aspect, the universal embodied the virtue that had to make of them the organizing and legislative people par excellence; their great social and moral virtue, parallel to the first one was the individual's total devotion and sacrifice for his country. This is where the vigor of their political unity and the increasing universality of their domination came from. If manly strength was the first trait of the Romans, the second was order. No other people knew, better than they did, to organize force. Their ruling spirit mixed tradition with progress". The Romans liked what was arranged in order and greatness, what resembles to the rule, to stability. Wherever they went they brought order and "even the severity of the order, the safety of the person, the feeling of discipline, the respect for the authority, a kind of fundamental ascetic simplicity." The Romans' ease to discover the general in the particular things rendered their spirit a strong tendency towards generalizing and encyclopedism. It never became metaphysical, transcendental, as it never was mystical. The Romans' generalizing and co-coordinating spirit was opposed to the Greek spirit, analytic and subtle. The Romans' mind was attracted, in science as in politics, by universal points of view. Like the Roman spirit in general, "the Latin language, richer and less flexible than the Greek one, has neat shapes, more rigorous limits." "It avoids everything that is arbitrary and confuse, deals with the normal, regular things… The prevailing traits of this language are the force and energy of the words, their harmonious layout, the balance, the exquisite distribution, the beautiful co-ordination." "The rounded sentences are arranged in order, like the soldiers of the legions. Roman solemnity appears even in the language: concision, force, majesty, these are the characteristics that express so rightly the military and juridical genius of Rome." (Iorga) These traits made out of the Roman writers remarkable prose writers. Their patriotism, the seriousness of their manners, their practical political and juridical sense, found their natural expression in their prose. That's where the power of eloquence came from, which was the most original part of their soul and literature. "There is nothing more Roman than rhetoric and eloquence." "As for satire, which is an army of ideas and of words able to punish the persons, change the manners, this literary genre was successfully used by the Romans. They had reached here great originality. "The Romans had the genius of the farce and of mockery; that's why they said: Satira tota nostra est." (ibid.) The positive character of the Roman people triggered the predominance of the sensual, material part of the art. In the theatrical performances, the music and especially the mimicry seduced the Romans… They preferred the dance of the bears, the clowns, the parade of the great triumphs, the gladiators instead of the comedies and tragedies." The Roman spirit and character, besides the favourable parts, summarized above had other parts of shadows and flaws. We must consider among them the lack of poetical sensitivity, their prosaic spirit. "In Rome, the agricultural and war life were all important, the poetry and literature couldn't develop, lacking favourable circumstances… This was another impediment in their development, that basic trait of harshness and rigidity of character that couldn't be found with the Greeks… Romans despised graecum otium and opposed to it ocupatio fori. With Romans it was not the inner feeling that prevailed, but its superficial and social form. Romans treated with infinite indulgence foreign religions, because they didn't interfere with the interests of the state. That's why religious crimes and profanation are very rare and unimportant in Rome. The Romans' feeling being more exterior and social, it explains very well this indulgence. The same superficiality explains the concrete and utilitarian character of their religion. The cult of the various divinities that we know didn't have for them the importance of a purpose but that of a means with political purposes that is, in other words, earthly purposes." That is why, in Roman religion, the priests could introduce, in time, moral and social aspects. "They took advantage of the fear they had of their gods, to strengthen the moral and social duties, especially those for which the law didn't have enough punishments." The good part of this kind of religion is that it doesn't produce fanaticism with all its evils and exaggerations. Its bad part is, from a psychological and moral point of view, that of "being sterile for the life of the soul, stopping the flow of the feeling and of the thought, not encouraging speculation, or poetry or art." Roman gods are not individuals but abstract signs of beings and things, they don't have a biography. On the contrary, Greeks' gods have movement, life, they are born, love, have their joys and sorrows. "Instead of searching, like the Greeks, a more and more complete anthropomorphism, that had to reach its perfection in ancient sculpture, the Roman doesn't see in the divinities but personified abstractions; that's why he leaves them there in a chaotic state, without precise meaning, without characters." Even in Roman theology only necessity, order, rigorous uniformity prevail. "But what characterizes Roman religion is the innumerable ideas, more or less abstract, seen artificially as divinities. Each man has his genius, each woman her junona; each circumstance in the social life, each agricultural aspect… has its divinity… The cult, this was important in a religion: the doctrine was without importance: a name is enough only if rites accompany it. Overlooking the smallest practice destroys the power of the sacrifice, the ritual is inflexible; everything is ruled by the authority. The government's control is exerted upon the rite and upon its supreme chief." To sum up, the religious character of the Romans was practical and formalist. "The Latin spirit is not taken in by the abstractions of pure theory for too long. The Roman feels for the metaphysical fund of the regions a natural indifference. It is because of this indifference that the observation of these purely external practices was so great in Italy…" But "this state of religious disbelief does not exclude the belief in superstitions." Chapter III. The Social and Historical Conditions of our First Ethnical Formation
Regarding will, the Latin people was a violent one, with a tenacious, stubborn will, impulsive and self-controlling, consequently very careful. Loving freedom, because jealous of their freedom they submitted the world and strangled the liberty of the ancient world, they were at the same time a people of order, discipline and very organized. The Romanized populations, coming over the Thracian ones, must have strengthened even more the energy and the tenacity of their will, as well as the aggressiveness and self-control. Also, they must have completed and modify to the better the sense of freedom they were animated by. From their mixture with the populations from Dacia, their will must have come out more disciplined. A spirit of order, of regularity and of discipline should have been born in the Romanian people that came out from this mixture. This agreement and this process of strengthening and of completion is troubled by the arrival of the Slavs. These brought in the composition of the soul the contrary traits. They weakened the effect of harmony between the Thracian and the Roman will. Indeed the Slavs appear as a people with a weak will. A people with a changing will, impulsive but not controlled, incapable to sustain itself more than a moment, the Slavs were not disciplined, careless, inconstant and loved freedom up to debauchery and anarchy. They hated the constant effort. With these traits they must have modified and altered a lot the spiritual result of the Thracian-Roman mixture. This way the Romanians' will, in this first phase must have come out altered, their energy diminished, the self-control and the caution somewhat weakened, the aggressiveness increased, the sense of order and discipline altered to the worse, and that of liberty a little exaggerated and anarchic. The Thracian-Roman violence and cruelty again, must have come out of the mixture with the Slavs, a little decreased. This alteration shouldn't be considered as something deep and radical at all. As far as intelligence is concerned, the Geto-Dacians brought in the common intellectual patrimony an open-minded spirit, welcoming civilization, a keen intelligence, full of ingenuity, creative, an imagination rich in sources and expedients, as the famous episodes in their history prove it. As they absorbed in the mass of their population the remaining Scythians and Agatirsh from their territories, they must have had the elements of the artistic sense, and especially the practical sense inherited from the latter. Roman intelligence, much more developed and richer than that of the Geto-Dacians, came, of course, to complete and to enrich it. The Romans brought with them in the intellectual inheritance of the Romanian people their generalizing and abstract spirit, the juridical spirit, the eloquence, the regularity and the harmony of the language and especially their mocking spirit so powerful with the Roman people. But they cast a shadow over the spiritual portrait of the Dacian-Romans: their prosaic spirit, their lack of poetry, the hardly original approach on the beautiful arts in general. This little shortcoming was compensated by the poetical sense very much developed in the Slavs. They brought with them, to enrich even more the Dacian-Roman intelligence an abundant imagination, bold, inconstant; an artistic malleable spirit that fits all subjects and forms; a simplistic, keen intelligence, bold and inconstant. All these traits complete and harmonize with the psychical contributions brought by the Latin or Latinizing world. From their colonization results that the Romanians, as far as intelligence is concerned, must have appeared as a people with a very open, very rich mind, with a keen intelligence, full of ingenuity, with a rather powerful generalizing spirit. Its imagination must have been one of the richest and able to allow a vigorous development of the creation, especially of the satirical one. As far as religion is concerned the three great ethnic materials from which the Romanian people came out are very characteristic. However, in this domain, things appear very clear. If there is something overwhelming, important and considered as the surest trait of the Thracians' soul this couldn't be but the belief in the immortality of the soul, which was the basic trait of the entire Geto-Dacians' soul, and out of which came almost all the other traits and inclinations of this people. And, this belief already too overwhelming with the Thracians was added to or maybe exaggerated by the identical belief that was brought later by the Slavs. The deep belief of the Slavs in the after life, in the immortality of the soul and the role this belief has today are well-known. The Slavs brought the belief in all kinds of superstitions, in the good and evil spirits, in wizards, that were widespread and very powerful also with Thracians and Romans. But what the Slavs brought different from the Thracians was the cult, the religious ceremony, the spirit of pure and empty formalism, lacking all mystical tinge, all metaphysical conception, all inner, deep, intellectual ground. Regarding this Slav contribution, it engrafted on the Roman foundation, which being of the same nature, was much more powerful and more general. Indeed the religious feeling of the Latin peoples is in general very superficial, practical, opportunist and confined to external formalism, absolutely empty and totally lacking a deep, inner foundation. With the Romans as with the Slavs, the forms of the cult, the external ritual baffled the development of the profound inner feeling, and the metaphysical and mystical feeling that is natural for all religions. The letter of the religious law, with Romans and Slavs, obliterated its spirit. On the other hand, the belief in wizards, in pagan superstitions, came to baffle even more and to mutilate the Roman-Slav Christianity of the Romanians. That's why, to sum up, what is and must be characteristic in the Romanians' soul, as far as religion is concerned couldn't be anything else than a powerful, incontrovertible belief in the immortality of the soul, in the after life, a natural consequence of the first, the deceiving formalism of a cult totally lacking inner life and mysticism, limited and spiced with all kinds of superstitions, ever more absurd, strange and mysterious. This form of religion was preserved unchanged throughout the centuries. It is the only trait of our soul that survived the trial of times. The Romanians today didn't leave aside or add a thing to this form of their religious faith. We see them the same today as they came out, religiously speaking, from the marriage through centuries of their ethnical nations. Over 160 years elapsed from the transformation of Dacia into a Roman province to the year when Aurelian left it. This first age of the Dacian-Romans, in Dacia, was relatively calmer. Even if the province was always attacked by the Sarmatian tribes, united with a part of the Dacians that ran away to escape Roman domination, Trajan's Dacia led during this time a prosperous life, defended by the Roman legionaries, numerous and powerful, that the rulers of Rome kept here. This rather long age allowed the birth of the Dacian-Roman people that appeared from the Romanization of the original populations. This process of Romanization encompasses not only the all powerful influence of the Roman institutions but also the physical mixture of people, the engrafting and fusion of the Latinized or Latin races with the indigenous inhabitants. The colonists intermingled with the indigenous people, the races mixed, the Latin blood and the Dacian blood united. The social and psychological consequences The Byzantine historian Priscus, who visited the Roman lands, plundered and submitted by the Huns, recounts in detail the consequences of the barbarians' invasions. "Thus, he says that, going along the Western coast of the Balkan Peninsula, he arrived at Sardica, a city which they found turned to ashes by a previous invasion. In the same way they found in ruins the city of Naisus (today Nis in Serbia), the country of Constantine the Great, where he found only a few sick people that