The western part of the modern region of Transylvania is often referred as Crişana after three tributaries of the Criş River.
The western side of this area is part of the Pannonian Plain, the east has valleys up to the Transylvanian plateau and the Apuseni mountains.
The current western boundary was drawn in 1919 mostly along ethnic divisions. The eastern boundary is the border with historic Transylvania.
Following the defeat of Hungary by the Ottoman army in the 16th century this area was known as 'Partium' and was linked to Transylvania during the Ottoman domination.
The area has been populated continuously from the earliest times - with the middle Neolithic Starčevo-Criş-Körös culture, through the Bronze age where this area dominated regional Bronze production, and the Iron age resulting in the Dacian kingdom. Following the invasion of Dacia by the Romans this area was outside 'Roman Dacia'.
During the age of migrations invading powers held the Panonian plain: Goths, Gepids,Huns, Avars, Slavs and Magyars.
The Pannonian plain was part of the Kingdom of Hungary. The diocese in the region of Bihar was founded in 1083 indicating the very early incorporation in the Kingdom of Hungarian.
Events leading to the Principality of Transylvania:
- 1526 - Battle of Móhacs where the Hungarian army is defeated by the Ottomans and Buda is taken.
- 1528 Hungarian crown contested by János Szapolyai (supported by the Ottmans, France, Moldavia) and Ferdinand of Habsburg (supported by Austrians and Transylvanian Saxons)
- 1529 Ottomans seize Buda and enthrone János Szapolyai.
- 1540 János Szapolyai dies and Hungary comes under Ferdinand of Habsburg, and the Transylvania throne is granted by the Ottoman Porte to Szapolyai's son John II.
- 1541 Ottoman seize Buda and the Kingdom of Hungary is divided: centre and south become an Ottoman pashalik, the north is given to the Habsburgs, and Transylvania plus the 'Partium' are an autonomous Principality acknowledging the suzerainty of the Porte.
- Following the death of John II the Báthory family came to power which marked the beginning of the Principality of Transylvania.
Principality of Transylvania was a semi-independent state existing from 1571 to 1711.
Events leading to the Habsburg acquisition of Transylvania and Partium:
- 1683 - Defeat of the Ottomans at the Battle of Vienna.
- 1686 - Treaty of Vienna: Transylvania accepts the protection of the Habsburg empire.
- 1691 - Habsburg inherits the Hungarian crown and acquires Transylvania.
- 1711 - the princes of Transylvania were replaced with Austrian governors.
- 1848 - revolution with the Hungarians, led by the Polish general Józef Bem, battling Romanian and Saxon troops under Austrian command.
- 1849 - After the intervention by the armies of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, Bem's army was defeated decisively at the Battle of Temesvár (Timişoara).
- Austria ruled Transylvania through a military governor and granted citizenship to the Romanians.
- 1867 - Austro-Hungarian agreement which established the dual monarchy and reincorporated Transylvania into the Kingdom of Hungary.
- 1919 - The Treaty of Versailles
- 1919 - The Treaty of St. Germain
- 1920 - The Treaty Trianon
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GODEA, I. (1981) Zona Etnografică Beiuş, Editura Sport Turism.
MOZES, T. (1975) Portul Popular Din Bazinul Crişului Alb, Oradea, Muzeul Ţarii Crişurilor.
MOZES, T. (1984) Zona Etnografică Crişul Repede, Editura Sport Turism.