roc-structure > History of the Romanian Orthodox Church > III. The Church of Wallachia and Moldova in the Middle Ages (middle of the 14th century - 1821)

III. The Church of Wallachia and Moldova in the Middle Ages (middle of the 14th century - 1821)

In the first half of the 14th century, the state unification of the political units, present in the south and east of the Carpathians, under one ruler, took place. At the same time with the unification of the Romanian knyazates and voivodships in the south of the Carpathians into one independent state, Wallachia, and after the formation of the second state, Moldova, in the east of the Carpathians, the religious unification of the two Romanian independent states took place. Thus, instead of several hierarchs depending on each voievodship, only one was elected, with the name of metropolitan.
In 1359, the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognised officially the Metropolitanate of Ungro-Wallachia or Wallachia, with the see in Arges and its hierarch Iachint, who had been metropolitan of Vicina, in the north of Dobrugea until then. The metropolitanate was moved, in 1517, to Targoviste, and in 1688 to Bucharest, where it remained until today. From 1370 - 1401, the new Metropolitanate of Severin functioned in the territory on the right side of the Olt River. At the beginning of 16th century, the Dioceses of Ramnic and of Buzau were set up, which are still functioning today. From 1793-1949, a Diocese of Arges functioned, reactivated in 1990.
The Metropolitanate of Moldova was first mentioned in 1386. Its confirmation was hardly accepted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which intended to impose a Greek hierarch, whereas the country wanted a Romanian one. It was only on 26 July 1401 that the Moldavian Iosif - ordained at Halici and related to the ruler of the country - was recognised as metropolitan. The seat of the Metropolitanate was in Suceava, while in the second half of the 17th century it was moved to Iasi.
It is necessary to underline that in the 14th - 18th centuries the Church in Wallachia and Moldova should be considered as an official State Church - a legacy of Byzantium - holding an important role in the political life of the country and guiding the entire cultural activity and social humanitarian assistance.
Our first printing houses (in Dealu, Targoviste, Colentina-Bucharest, Govora, Campulung, Iasi, then in Bucharest, Buzau, Snagov, Ramnic, Monastery of Neamt) functioned in the precincts of a few monasteries or diocesan seats and the first printers were also clergy: hieromonk Mitrofan, future bishop of Husi and Buzau, Antim Ivireanul, the future metropolitan and so on.
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