Sergiu Diacicov, Bogdana Tudorache, and Cezar I. Cîmpeanu
Romania has a population of 22,477,703 and an area of 91,699 square miles (237,500 square kilometers). It is located in the southeast of Europe. Romania borders Hungary to the northwest, former Yugoslavia to the southwest, Bulgaria to the south, the Black Sea to the southeast, and the former USSR to the east and north. Bucharest is the capital and the largest city.
Romania includes eight historic and geographic regions: Walachia, Moldavia, and Transylvania and parts of Bukovina, Crisana, Maramures, Dobruja, and Banat. Romania is divided into forty districts and the municipality of Bucharest. The Danube River, which forms part of the border with former Yugoslavia and almost all of the frontier with Bulgaria, traverses Romania in the southeast; its tributary, the Prut, constitutes most of the border with the former USSR. The Carpathian Mountains, of which the Transylvania Alps are a part, cut through Romania in a wide arc from north to southwest; the highest peaks are Moldoveanu (8,343 feet/2,543 meters) and Negoiu (8,317 feet/2,535 meters). The country's climate is continental, with hot, dry summers and cold winters; severe droughts are common during the summer.
The great majority of the inhabitants speak Romanian, although there are sizeable minorities that speak Hungarian and German. By far the largest religious body is the Romanian Orthodox Church ( International Geographic Encyclopedia and Atlas, 1990).
Romania consists primarily of ancient Dacia, which was a Roman province in the second and third centuries- A.D. After the Romans left the region, the area was overrun successively by the Goths, the Huns, the Avars, the Bulgars, and the Magyars. After a period of Mongol rule ( thirteenth century), the history of