Thursday, August 23, 2012


 The communist regimes on the Balkans may have fallen over two decades ago, but their legacy continues to echo in historical research in the region. One of the most glaring examples of this is the 'Dacian Myth' which was part and parcel of Communist-era nationalism.

  In the 1960's Romania and Bulgaria experienced important political and cultural changes, which were the direct result of the political decision to move away from the Soviet protectorate to an aggressive form of nationalism. This new nationalist trend was in fact a collage of much older elements based on a traditionally nationalist concept that had never died out. Stalinism, which had become so estranged from national issues, contributed greatly to the indigenization of Marxism and the blurring of any distinctions between Communism and nationalism (Mircea Anghelinu (1997) Failed Revolution: Marxism and the Romanian Prehistoric Archaeology between 1945 and 1989. In: Archaeologia Bulgarica XI 2007 1 1-36 Sofia).

 The anti-intellectual orientation of the ruling elite was especially prominent after 1980 and resulted in a tight control of academic promotions, with damaging effects for the access that younger generations had to university and research positions. Such an academic atmosphere reinforced the position and authority of the cultural mandarins, while research personnel gradually grew older, with little chance of being replaced. A new wave of ideological "disciplining" began in historiography, which emphasized the idea of national unity and continuity, and the Thracian-Dacian roots of the Romanian state (Boia L. 1997, Istorie şi mit în conştiinţa romaneascâ Bucureşti. P. 74-82).