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The geographical and historical region known today as BANAT [in Romanian language: Banat / in German: Banat / in Hungarian: Bánát, Bánság / in Serbian: Banat, Banate, Banoviva / in Croatian: Banat, Banovina / in Enhlish: Banat / in Latin: Banatus / in Esperanto: Banato] had lots of names during its history. In the last three centuries everybody knows it under this name. As historian Ioan Haţegan says, "this denomination does not refer to any political or military option, but confirms the name of a province, which is geographically very well delimited and very complex from the historical point of view".
Geographical environment. As already known1, in our days Banat is the historic province between Danube, Mureş, Tisa and the Carpathians mountains. Banat covers 28526km2 [other sources will give other numbers. In fact, we do not know for certain the surface of Banat!]. After WWI, România owns 18966 km2 [ie 2/3] and Yugoslavia / Serbia approximately 1/3 of the total area [ie 9276 km2]. The northwest corner, where Mureş and Tisa meet, depends today on Hungary [284 km2]. Thus, the romanian Banat comprises following romanian counties:
-Caraş-Severin [less localities Bucova, Cornişorul, Bouţarii de Sus and Bouţarii de Jos]
-Arad [only the left side of Mureş River]
-Mehedinţi [only the western part starting from Vârciorova]
-Hunedoara [only localities Sălciva and Pojoga].
These borders do not necessarily coincide with the Linguistic or Ethnographic Borders. The Banat romanian dialect is spoken also in the western part of Oltenia. There is no difference between clothes, traditions and language of people in Podeni, Cireşu, Prejna, Godeanu or Tismana and those in Cornerevinţ or Bogâlcin. There is no difference between the language of people in Pădureni [Hunedoara County / România] and of people in Banat, on the Bega River. Also along the Mureş River the dialectal interdependences are very frequent, but there are also significant differences. The Romanian Banat dialect was preserved along the Mureş River, from Toc to Cenad, as well as in many villages in the Arad vineyard region ["luncani" and "cimpeni"], in the western part of the Arad plain. This proves the dialectal and territorial unit of romanians on both sides of the Mureş River. South to the Danube, in the western part of Craina, romanians also speak the Banat dialect and they have almost the same clothes, traditions and songs as the romanians in Banat.
Denominations Cronology for the Last Two Millenniums:
-1867-1918: the hungarian administration use "Dél-Magyarország" [ie South Hungary].
-1849-1860: a new imperial region2 is created under the name "Vojvodatu Serbico et Temesiensi Banatu (in Latin); Serbische Wojwodina und Temescher Banat (in German); Voievodina sârbească şi Banatul Timişan (in Romanian); Szerb-Vajdaság és Temesi-Bánság (in Hungarian); Vojvodstvo Srbija i Tamiški Banat (in Serbian); Serbian Voivodina and Timis's Banat (in English).
-1779-1780: Francesco Griselini2a assumed the name Dacia ripensis in the first monograph on Banat "Versuch einer politischen und natürlichen Geschichtes des Temeswarer Banats in Briefen an Standespersonen und Gelehrte", ed. Vienna/in german language and Milano/in italian language [see the first letter] but Banat never belonged to the roman DACIA RIPENSIS2b province.
-1716 /'18-1849: the region was constantly named "Banatul Timişoarei" [ie Temescher Banat in german, Temesvár Banat in hungarian, Banatus Temesiensis in latin] and later simply only "Banat".
All inhabitants of the region commonly used the word Banat and after a while the neighbouring regions of romanian, hungarian or south-slavonic origin also used it. Between 1723-1854, on several maps of the region is used BANNAT instead of the usual BANAT. Also, mainly during the XVIII century, the Habsburg authorities used BANNATH. These were just particular spelling variation of the name Banat.
-1714: Aubry from Motrave mentions that: "In former times Timisoara government comprised the whole territory between Tisa and Transylvania, and from the Danube to Oradea Mare inclusively".
-1699-1701: Count Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli / Marsili / Marsilly3 is involved in the process of demolishing some castles existing in Banat and establishing clearly, in concordance with the Karlowitz's Pace Treaty, the frontier between the Imperials / Habsburg House and the Ottoman Empire. He has his residence at Caransebes.
-26.01.1699: in the peace treaty signed at Karlowitz / Sremski Karlovci appears "Provintia subiecta Arci Temisvarensi" and "Temisvariansibus Territorüs"; but in the Habsburg's drafts papers of the peace treaty negotiations [September 1698] is used "Temesiensem Banatum".
-31.05.1694: the Habsburg War Council textually speaks about Banat as "Parvam Vallachiam".
-1690: Patriarch Arsenije Carnojevici speaks, in his memorial to emperor Leopold I, about "... Parvam Valachiam praesterea Transylvanicum ..." (in the Little Valahia close to / near to ...).
-1690: one of Marisigli's map: Vlasca
-1689: on Marsigli's map of Syrmia the region is identify as Dacia Ripense but this is only an historic false statement.
-circa 1687: on a war map exists Banatus Timisvariensis pars
-1687: the Habsburg War Council textually speaks about Banat as "Teritorium Vulaska" [Vulaska = Vlasca].
-1660 and 1666: the monks sent in the region by Patriarch Maxim of Ipek named it "Vlaska".
-12.09.1658: Banat of Lugoj-Caransebes will be given by Ákos Barcsai / Barcsay [the last ban of the region between 22.12.1644-14.09./11.10.1658] to the Turks in exchange of the Transylvania's throne for himself [starting 14.09.1658 and up to 6.01.1661 with a short period of "pause" in the summer of 1660 when György / Georgius Rákoczy / Rakoci II is ruler of Transylvania for the second time] and the region is integrated to Timisoara's pasalik.
-1652: The Saint Iosif cel Nou de la Partos calls himself "Vlaskozemnski". The whole Banat region under ottoman occupancy was called "valahia".
-1635: in the first edition4 of what is known as the Blaeu Altas, the region at N of Servia [ie Serbia] and at W of Walachia [ie Tara Romaneasca, in the S of today Romania] covering the territory delimited in the N by the Marisch flu [ie Mures River]; at W by Tißa flu [ie Tisa River]; at S by the Danubius fluvias [ie Danube River] is named RASCIA. If we will not see this as an obvious mistake5, this leads us to a further discussion5.
-25.06.1600: Mihai Viteazul, the first romanian ruler which united [in 1600] Tara Romaneasca, Transylvania and Moldova, calls the region "... cis Transilvaniam partiumque".
-7.02.1584: Joannes Paulus Campanui, the Jesuit's leader from Alba Iulia, writes that "Oradea is in Partium, Lugoj and Caransebes are in Valachia." and that Banat is a provincia Valachica;
-1564, December; 1565-'70: Giovanandrea Gromo [B 1518, Bergmo; D >1567], which visited Caransebes, repeatedly, in the second half of the XVI Century, calls Banat's region as "Valachia Citeriore" and "Valachia Cisalpina". The Italian Giovanandrea Gromo was commander of Transylvania's prince Ioan/János/Johann II Sigismund/Zsigmond/Sigismund Zápolya/Szapolyai [B 7.07.1540, Buda; Transylvania's prince 1541-'51, 1556-'71; D 14.03.1571, Alba Iulia/Gyulafehérvár] personal guard.
-1552-1716: under the Turkish occupation, the Banat plain from Tisa [in the West] to near Lugoj-Caransebes [in the East] and from the Danube [in the South] up to Crisul Alb [in the North] was organized as Temeşvar eyaleti [vilayeti or pasalik]. In 1552, the Temesvar eyaleti consisted from 4 sanjaks: Timisoara, Lipova, Cenad and Moldova. In 1614 another two sanjaks will be mentioned: Giula / Gula and Ineu and in 1660 Evliya Chelebi6 will mention also other five sanjaks: Sebes / Caransebes, Lugoj, Faget, Becicherec and Arad [this sanjak was including the Arad town / castle and 113 villages]. So, in the second half of the XVII Century, the turkish vilayeti of Timisoara had 11 sanjaks [or livâ].
-17.09.1552: a document speaks about "partes inter Maros et Tyssam iacentes".
-29.09.1551: Ferdinand of Habsburg speaks about "partium inferiorum ad Themeswaram".
-20 August 1551: In a document, issued by the imperial habsburg court, Banat is textually named "Tomascherischen Landtschafft".
-1536-1658: is created / exists Banatul de Lugoj-Caransebes [ie Lugoj and Caransebes's Banat; Banat of Lugoj and Caransebes] in the East of the region.
-1536: Cristoph and Heinrich Zoll's map of Europe names the region between Mures, Danube and Olt "Transalpina".
-1524: the ottomans conquered Severin's fortress; Banat of Severin lost a lot of its attributions.
-Nicolaus Olachus7 [10.01.1493-15.01.1568] will start his studies at Orăştie [today in Hunedoara County / Romania and near Banat] and in his works will mention Banat using: "the region located between this Timis and the Mures River is called Timisana".
-16.08.1476: Leonardo Batta mentions Banat as "terra chiamata Themisvar ...".
-1455: John of Capistrano8 calls Banat as "... partis Cismontanis".
-1453: An italian map shows "principio della Valachia" over Banat.
-1440: writer Ludovicus Crijevic Tuberus / Tubero9 mentions the province as "prouinciam suam Thibiscum, regionemque circa positas dimittit si Thibisciarensis prounciae".
-1373: Pope Gregorius XI10 mentions the region as "... in metis Ungarie circa Sebest et maiorem Wlachiam ...".
-starting with the papal tithe from 1332 and 1337 [in certain documents, even in 1374, the hungarian king is speaking about Comitatu seu Districtu de Temeskuz] the name Temesköz or Temeskuz11 is also found in the official papers issued by the Medieval Hungarian Kingdom.
-25.11.1308: a document issued by the Cenad Roman-Catholic Bishop, speaks about Banat: "we, which have boundaries with Transylvania's parts".
-beginning of XIII Century: Banat of Severin appears as a military and administrative territory in "Terra de Zeurino / Zeverino" [ie the Latin for Severin's country]. Its area varied during the time, comprising the southeast region of today Banat and some parts of today's Mehedinti County.
-1233: Banat de Severin [ie Severin's Banat; Banat of Severin]. It is a creation of the hungarian feudal kingdom. Together with a network of other "banat(s)"12 it linked, from military point of view, the southern territories conquered by the Hungarian Kingdom and it was the equivalent of the german border territories [ie margrave / Mark13].
-1200: the Caras County is mentioned for the first time.
-1187: the Cenad County is for the first time mentioned.
-1177: Timis County / Comitatus is mentioned for the first time [trough his leader Pancratius] in written documents.
Even if these counties had different shape and sometimes even names during the time, these administrative forms will survive during the history and will cover the entire region.
-1094: Some latter documents -very disputed among scholars- speak about the existence of a ban in the region.
-beginning of X Century: Terra or Regum ruled by Glad and later, after a century, about his successor, Ahtum. Ahtum's country comprised the whole today's Banat as well as today's Crisana region in the N.
-in antiquity, being part of the thracian, dacian, and dacian-roman habitat, the region was known as part of Dacia. During the roman occupancy, this region was part of the roman province Dacia [106 AC-118/119], later Dacia Superior [117/119 - 167] and Dacia Apulensis [168/169 - 271/275].