country in the NE Balkan Peninsula, on the Black Sea: 91,699 sq mi (237,500 sq km); cap. Bucharest
A country of southeast Europe with a short coastline on the Black Sea. Originally a Roman province, the area was conquered from the 3rd to the 12th century by a succession of invaders, including Goths, Huns, Magyars, and Mongols. In the 13th century two principalities, Moldavia and Wallachia, emerged, becoming vassal states within the Ottoman Empire and eventually Russian protectorates. They were united in 1862 and became independent in 1878. The rise of fascism in the 1930s led to the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of a dictatorship in 1940. Following Romania's surrender to the USSR during World War II, the country was declared (1947) a communist republic, which was overthrown in 1989 with army-supported countrywide revolts. Bucharest is the capital and the largest city.
Romanian romÃ¢n (“Roman") (in turn from Latin romanus (“Roman")) + -ia