The identities of the Catholic communities in the 18th century Wallachia

Alexandru Ciocîltan
„Nicolae Iorga” Institute of History, Romanian Academy, Email: alexcioca7@yahoo.com

Acknowledgements
This paper is based on the presentation made at the Sixth international conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies in Romania Historical memory, the politics of memory and cultural identity: Romania, Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea region in comparison, hosted by Ovidius University of Constanţa (Romania) and the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies, May 22-23, 2015. This research was financed by the project „MINERVA – Cooperare pentru cariera de elită în cercetarea doctorală şi post-doctorală”, contract code: POSDRU/159/1.5/S/137832, co-financed by the European Social Fund, Sectorial Operational Programme Human Resources 2007-2013.

Abstract:
The Catholic communities in the 18th century Wallachia although belonging to the same denomination are diverse by language, ethnic origin and historical evolution. The oldest community was founded in Câmpulung in the second half of the 13th century by Transylvanian Saxons. At the beginning of the 17th century the Saxons lost their mother tongue and adopted the Romanian as colloquial language. Other communities were founded by Catholic Bulgarians who crossed the Danube in 1688, after the defeat of their rebellion by the Ottomans. The refugees came from four market-towns of north-western Bulgaria: Čiprovci, Kopilovci, Železna and Klisura. The Paulicians, a distinct group of Catholics from Bulgaria, settled north of the Danube during the 17th and 18th centuries. The homeland of this group was the Nikopolis region. Their ancestors, adherents of a medieval heresy, had been converted by Franciscans friars. Bucharest, the capital city of Wallachia, housed a composite Catholic community of distinct origins, which came into being during the last quarter of the 17th century. In this community the Catholic Armenians became predominant by the mid-18th century. The main object of our study is the history of the Catholic communities in a predominant Orthodox country under Ottoman rule.

Rezumat:
Deşi aparţineau aceleiaşi confesiuni, comunităţile catolice din Ţara Românească se deosebeau prin limbă, origine etnică şi evoluţie istorică. Cea mai veche comunitate a fost întemeiată la Câmpulung de saşii ardeleni în a doua jumătate a secolului XIII. La începutul secolului XVII saşii şi-au pierdut graiul strămoşesc şi foloseau doar limba română. Alte comunităţi au fost întemeiate de bulgarii catolici care au trecut Dunărea în 1688 în urma înfrângerii rebeliunii lor de către otomani. Refugiaţii erau originari din patru târguri din nord-vestul Bulgariei: Čiprovci, Kopilovci, Železna şi Klisura. Pavlichienii, un grup distinct de catolici din Bulgaria, s-au aşezat la nord de Dunăre în secolele XVII şi XVIII. Ei erau orginari din regiunea Nicopol. Strămoşii lor, aderenţi ai unei erezii medievale, fuseseră convertiţi de călugării franciscani. Bucureştii, capitala Ţării Româneşti, adăposteau o comunitate catolică cu origini foarte diverse, constituită în ultimul sfert al secolului XVII. În cadrul comunităţii, armenii catolici au devenit majoritari către mijlocul secolului XVIII. Obiectivul principal al studiului nostru este istoria comunităţilor catolice într-o ţară predominant ortodoxă aflată sub stăpânire otomană.

Keywords: Catholic communities, Wallachia, Saxons, Bulgarians, Paulicians, Armenians

https://balticnordic.hypotheses.org/files/2018/12/08.-Ciocâltan.pdf