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Transylvania, A Short History by István Lázár || 1: Transylvania is Far from Mesopotamia

With its deep valleys surrounded by a coronet of peaks, its wide basins and highlands, pine forests and the Alpine meadows at the feet of imposing glaciers; with its salt mines already worked in prehistory, with its gold gathered since Neolithic times from the waters of its streams, Transylvania is a country-size area in the lap of the Eastern and Southern Carpathians, on the easternmost edge of Central Europe. Once part of Hungary, today it is a part of Romania with a substantial Hungarian population. Even though it was approached early by Eastern Orthodoxy emanating from Byzantium, its Christianity is basically western. Initially the Roman ritual was predominant, but later it became the bastion of European Protestantism. It was a historic bone of contantion between its original inhabitants and the conquering Hungarians, the Hungarians and the Turks, the Turks and the Austrian Habsburgs, the Austrian Habsburgs and the Hungarians, and between the Hungarians and the Romanians. For a century and a half, it was also an independent principality, and before, during and after, a sort of research laboratory of East-Central-European history known as the Fairy Garden.

Transylvania A Short History, by István Lázár, who has written several books on the subject, covers the history of this fascinating region from ancient times until 1989.