A tiny little country
(about 15,000 square mile
s), a former member of the
, situated to the east of Romania
and bordered north, east and south
. Its capital city
It was historically part of the powerful eastern Roman province of Dacia and like
its larger neighbour Romania it has retained a Latin-derived language, despite the
Slavic influences of the rest of the region. Throughout history the small province was
annexed by a variety of different rulers, according to the rise and fall of various
empires and power struggles in eastern europe.
In the 9th to 11th centuries it was part of the Kievan empire (comprising most of modern
day Ukraine and Belorus), until it was invaded by the Mongols at the height of their
massive push westwards from the Chinese steppes. For a brief couple of hundred
years Moldavia became a semi-independent state under a succession of increasingly
harsh princes until in 1504 it became a tributary province to the Ottoman Turks.
Over the next 250 years the almost continual wars between Poland, Russia,
Austria, Hungary , Translyvania and the Ottoman Empire meant that Moldavia
was frequently invaded by one or more of the above empires, but generally remained
under Turkish rule.
In 1859 with the withdrawal of the Greeks (who had briefly taken control) Romania
was created. Moldavia was its easternmost province but following the First World War
Romania was broken up as part of the general reorganisation of the Balkan region
of Europe, and Moldavia was annexed by the young Soviet Union, in effect becoming
the first victim of Stalin' s imperialism.
Many ethnic Romanians remain in Moldavia (about 60% of the population speak
Romanian rather than Russian as their first language), and since the break-up of the
USSR there have been some calls for reunification with Romania.
Sources: a variety of resources both online and paper-based, based upon my discovery
that the most excellent Windows email client "The Bat!" is written by a team in