Additional Observations Regarding the Phrase Religio Romana in a Transylvanian Document Dated 6 June 1574

Ioan Aurel Pop


After studying a Latin record issued on 6 June 1574 (referring to the Transylvanian Romanians), the specialists expressed different opinions regarding the expression romana videlicet seu graeca religio, i.e. "Roman or Greek religion" (which seems to be a nonsense, because "the Roman religion" is the Catholic and "the Greek religion" is the Orthodox denomination). The author believes that the issuer of the 1574 document only transposed into Latin a phrase commonly used in the Romanian Transylvanian environment, so that the "Romanian religion" became practically naturally, in Latin, religio romana, all the more so as we are dealing with an internal document, not intended for the Holy See or for other foreign institutions, where it may have created confusion. The matter of this unusual document is far from being settled, as the arguments raised are probably insufficient or not eloquent enough. However, they are just as consistent as those that suggest an interpretation based on the alleged Catholicism of the Romanians. Consequently, we consider that in the current stage of our knowledge it is plausible to believe that in the document of 1574 religio romana sive greca means ?Romanian or Greek religion.


Orthodox Romanians; Catholic; Protestant; religio romana; Transylvania; ethnonyms; ethnicity; early modern times.

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