We left for the Greatest Point searching for a "history" (eventually creating one) for the big eclipse. Instead of this, we found ourselves in the core of the History, in fact Humanity's History. Here are some thoughts which have crossed my mind; they are related to the past, to the present and , maybe, to the future that might be opened by the happening of the eclipse.

One says about Romanians that they have no historical dimension and that they live out of time. It's possible to be true but it can also be an incomplete perception.

We don't know for sure from where and how Hindu-Europeans came. The plates from Tartaria set the beginning of the written civilization more than 3000 years before the classic antique civilizations. The only information we could possibly have, are buried in the ground, being little investigated, or they are included, being little, in other peoples' written sources.

From the Greeks we found out that on these lands lived the Pelasgian, a wise and beautifully dressed people. The Greeks also said that Dionysus, Pan, Orpheus, Apollo came from the North towards the South of Danube. We can tell for sure that their rich folklore speaks about a long and full events of prehistorical age on these territories.

The ancient Greek historians and geographers placed here the Dacian nation (a Thracian branch) whose main god was Zalmoxis. Their civilization was basically an oral one, and not a written one like the Latin and Greek civilizations.

We know from the Latins that during the ruling of Caesar, king Burebista lived here. He originated from the Burs' tribe, whose political center was at Buridava. Buridava is no more than 100 m away from the Greatest Point. It was the place where Burebista realized the tribal unification, enlarged the state borders and created an army which could claim the supremacy in Europe. The destiny wanted the two masters of the antique world to be murdered by knives. The history always demands a loser: the oral Thracian civilization was defeated by the written Latin and Greek ones, this being accomplished by Traian; or maybe . . . The historians of the time said that the conquest of Dacia by Traian was the greatest Rome's effort. But when Romans won, their capital was filled with gold, honey, wine and slaves. Traian brought in Dacia (including at the Roman camp Raureni, located only a few kilometers away from the Greatest Point) a lot of colonists, strong men from all over the Roman Empire, which had a powerful desire to become rich; in Dacia there also were the soldiers who established themselves here. It's logical to think that in the salinas worked the ones who had been banished from the Roman Empire, but it's very possible that only the guardians could have escaped and set themselves down here.

After the Romans left Dacia, this territory was a place "visited" by many wandering peoples, especially those from Asia. But they left just as they came, living no sign of their passing by. We've got the first dates about Middle Age from foreign sources too, especially from the chronicles of the peoples who tried to invade and to conquer these territories.

I must underline that if the wondering invaders settled down and become Christians after the contact with the Roman Empire (they were baptized by Rome or by Constantinopolis), the local people, named Wallachians and then Romanians were already a Christian nation, at the off set, getting their Christian knowledge directly from the Apostols. I think that when Samuel P. Huntington wrote "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World order" didn't have this information. Otherwise, he should noticed this classic orthodox island which "floated" all by itself in the Slavic orthodox ocean.; this Christian enclave was isolated between heights such as Piscul Doamnei - the Greatest's Point location.

After the year 1000, the first documentary witness regarding the Greatest Point - Ocnele Mari - originates from the 13th of March 1373, when the Leader of Timisoara county was ordered to stop at Orsova the salt import from Wallachia (Ocnele Mari).

The life of this place is tightly related to salt, for the local people the daily calvary, for Constantinopolis, Greece, Rome etc., needed large amount of salt. Ocnele Mari was an important locality from thr economical point of view, so it had a strategic importance but for the culture as well.

The middle of the 2nd millennium is better known and shows an intense life. The Old Road which reaches Lacul Doamnei [see ... ] made the connection between the height populated and strategical areas of Cozia and Horezu. Greeks, Jews, Turkish and others came and settled there and invented a few words added to Romanian language, such as "ciocoi" (land owner). Then Russians, Hapsburg, Frenches, Englishes - all together, using the Organic Rules took decisions in the name of Romanian people for more than 100 years, until the last World War.

There is a big number of monasteries in this region, their majority being submitted to Greece or Jerusalem, all of them having many privileges, land, salt, gipsies. After the unification between Moldavia Wallachia (1859) the ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza set free the thousands of gipsy slaves; many of them remained here and even our in days they represent a numerous population.

The vertical exploitation of the salted mines, using pits which after a 3-4 years turned into lakes, was replaced by horizontal mining. Presently mining is done by using streams of pressurized water. The sound made in the mines by these 'cartridges' can be heard all the time; the salt is transported through big conducts to the giant factory located in Rāmnicu Vālcea.

Even today, past vibration can be felt. Maybe it's just waiting for its entrance into history and for its time to come; this may happen now or maybe after another 5000 years.

I take a look to our century's invaders: Slavic, Balcanised dignitaries their first or second generation in Romania, communists, liberals ....... and now the great finance, the free market, Turkish, Arabian people ..... This is not the point where the invaders's age is ending. It seems that it won't stop and it will influence the future too ....

Might this eclipse be the sign which marks the "passage" ...?

English version by Nora Parvu

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