Romania is situated in Central Europe, in the northern part of the Balkan peninsula and its territory is marked by the Carpathian Mountains, the Danube and the Black Sea. With its temperate climate and varied natural environment, which is favourable to life, the Romanian territory has been inhabited since time immemorial.
The research done by Romanian archaeologists has led to the discovery of traces of human presence dating back as early as two million years BC.
At the turn of the second millennium, when the Palaeolithic age made way for the Bronze age, the Thracian tribes of Indo-European origin settled alongside the population that already lived in the Carpathian-Balkan region. From the time of the Thracians on, the uninterrupted phenomenon of the Romanian people’s birth can be traced. The contact of the Geto-Dacians, a Thracian tribe ("the wisest and the most correct one" -Herodot) with the Greek world was made easy by the Greek colonies created on the present-day Romanian Black Sea shore: Istros (Histria), founded in the 7th century BC, Callatis (today: Mangalia) and Tomi (today: Constanta).
Burebista the king (82 - around 44 BC), who succeeded to unite the Geto-Dacian tribes for the first time, founded a powerful kingdom that stretched, when the Dacian sovereign offered to support Pompey against Caesar (48 BC), from the Beskids (north), the Middle Danube (west), the Tyras river (the Dniester), and the Black Sea shore (east) to the Balkan Mountains (south).
Dacia was at the peak of its power under King Decebal (87-106 AD). After a first confrontation during the reign of Domitian (87-89), two extremely tough wars were necessary (101-102 and 105-106) to the Roman empire, at the peak of its power under Emperor Trajan (98-117) to defeat Decebal and turn most of his kingdom into the Roman province called Dacia.
The Dacians, although they had suffered heavy casuals, remained, even after the new rule was established, the main ethnic element in Dacia; the province was subjected to a complex Romanization process, its basic element being the staged but definitive adoption of the Latin language. The Romanians are today the only descendants of the Eastern Roman stock; the Romanian language is one of the major heirs of the Latin language, together with French, Italian, Spanish; Romania is an oasis of Latinity in this part of Europe.