Nicolae Iorga’s A History of Romania: Land, People, Civilization is not a typical historical account of a nation’s past, reciting dates, personalities, and events. Rather, it is an intimate portrait of a land and its people written by its greatest historian. Much like Herodotus in antiquity, Iorga can be considered “the father of history” for his country; the sheer volume and scope of his work make him among the most prolific historians in all of world history. Like a true artist, he paints a portrait of Romania, bringing to life the complex history of this fascinating land. Iorga skillfully weaves together history, art, architecture, language, literature, and culture to give the reader an understanding of the fabric of Romanian society.
Originally published in 1925, Iorga’s book was one of the earliest overviews of Romanian history printed in the English language. The author presents the history of the Romanian lands from ancient times until the end of World War I, when the great union of the Romanian lands was achieved and modern Romania came into existence. He reflects on the great personalities and events that shaped the nation, while at the same time examining the various threads that bind it together.
This new edition of this classic work includes a list of rulers, a bibliography, an index and numerous illustrations. It is also accompanied by a foreword by David Prodan, another great personality of Romanian historiography, discussing Iorga’s contributions to Romanian scholarship. Prodan fittingly pondered, when reflecting upon Iorga’s life and work, “what amazes us above all is the vastness of Romanian history and culture and his understanding of its diversity and profoundness, his ever-present desire to study anything belonging to the Romanian people, and especially its vital foundation, the peasants, with their constant virtues.” Nicolae Iorga’s A History of Romania is essential reading for anyone interested in the story of this fascinating land.
Nicolae Iorga (1871-1940) published over one thousand books during his lifetime. He served as professor of history at the University of Bucharest and also the University of Paris. He travelled extensively throughout the continent and was among the most renowned scholars of Europe during the interwar period. He was also heavily involved in the political life of Romania, briefly serving as the country’s prime minister during 1931-1932. Tragically, his life was cut short when he was brutally assassinated by members of the fascist Iron Guard in November, 1940.
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