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Church of Romania

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The Roman Empire soon found it was too costly to maintain a permanent garrison north of the lower Danube. As a whole, from 106 AD a permanent military and administrative Roman presence was registered only until 276 AD. (In comparison, Britain was militarily occupied by Romans for more than six centuries—and English is certainly not a Romance language, while the Church of England had no Archbishop before the times of Pope St. [[Gregory the Dialogist|Gregory the Great]].) Clearly, Dacians must have been favored linguistically and religiously by some unique ethnological features, so that after only 169 years of an anemic military occupation they emerged as a major Romance people, strongly represented religiously at the first [[Ecumenical Councils]], as the Ante-Nicene Fathers duly recorded.
When the Romanians formed as a people, it is quite clear that they already had the Christian faith, as proved by tradition, as well as by some interesting archeological and linguistic evidence. Basic terms of Christianity are of Latin origin: such as ''church'' (''biserică'' from ''basilica''), ''God'' (''Dumnezeu'' from ''Domine Deus''), ''Pascha'' (''Paşteti'' from ''Paschae''), ''Pagan'' (''Păgân'' from ''Paganus''), ''Angel'' (''Înger'' from ''Angelus''). Some of them (especially ''Biserica'') are unique to Orthodoxy as it is found in Romania.
Very few traces can be found in the Romanian names that are left from the Roman Christianity after the Slavic influence began. All the names of the saints were preserved in Latin form: ''Sântămăria'' (the [[Theotokos]]), ''Sâmpietru'' ([[Apostle Peter]]), ''Sângiordz'' (St. [[George]]) and ''Sânmedru'' (St. [[Demetrius]]). The non-religious onomastic proof of pre-Christian habits, like ''Sânziana'' and ''Cosânzeana'' (from ''Sancta Diana'' and ''Qua Sancta Diana'') is only of anecdotal value in this context. Yet, the highly spiritualized places in the mountains, the processions, the calendars, and even the physical locations of the early churches were clearly the same as those of the Dacians. Even the Apostle Andrew is known locally as the Apostle "of the wolves"—with very old and large connotations, whereby the wolf's head was an ethnicon and a symbol of military and spiritual "fire" for Dacians.
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