In ancient times the region now within Romania was called Dacia. In the seventh century B.C., Greek colonies were founded on the Black Sea coast and a flourishing trade developed with the tribes in the interior. In 106 A.D. the Roman emperor Trajan conquered Dacia and settled it with Roman colonists. The Dacian tribes became highly Latinized through intermarriage with the Romans and the adoption of their language and culture.

Important dates in Romania
300's B.C. Dacians lived in what is now Romania.
A.D. 100's Romania became a province of the Roman Empire.
200's to 1100's Non-Roman peoples from the north and east invaded Romania.
1250 to 1350 Moldavia and Walachia gradually became independent principalities.
c. 1500 The principalities fell under Ottoman rule.
1861 The Union of Moldavia and Walachia as Romania received international recognition.
1919 Romania about doubled in size when Transylvania and other surrounding lands became part of it.
1940-1945 Romania fought in World War II--first on the German side and then on the side of the Allies.
1947 Romania officially became a Communist country.
1950's The Soviet Union had nearly complete control over Romania.
1965 A new Romanian Constitution stressed the nation's control over its own affairs.
1977 An earthquake caused about 1,500 deaths and about $1 billion in property damage in Romania.
1989 Communist Party leader Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown and executed following widespread protest over his policies and corruption in his government.
1990 Romania held its first free multiparty elections since the end of World War II.
King Carol IIKing Carol II shown in 1930 with his brother Prince Nicholas (right), ruled Romania as a dictator during the 1930's. He was forced to abdicate in 1940 and died in exile in 1953.

In 271 Emperor Aurelian abandoned Dacia and it was occupied by the Goths. During the next several centuries numerous groups swept through the region without leaving their mark. Slav invasions of the seventh century, however, resulted in an enduring Slavic culture in the region. The Romanians were converted to Orthodox Christianity in the 11th century by Byzantine missionaries.