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Romania in the "Book of All Kingdoms"

Last modified: 2022-10-14 by alex danes
Keywords: book of all kingdoms | siluana |
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[Flag of Siluana] image by Alex Danes, 27 July 2008

The 114th flag mentioned and illustrated in the Book of All Kingdoms is attributed to Siluana (a.k.a. Septen Castra and Horgimil; cp. Siebenbürgen and Ardeal), which is identified as Transylvania. The anonymous author of Book of All Kingdoms describes the flag thus: "E el rey dende ha por señales un pendón con un alfanje bermejo." ("The king has for a device a green flag with a red scimitar" as translated in [f0f12].) According to [f0f12] (#93 on plate 20 between p.60-61), the manuscript "S" [f0fXXs] shows this flag..
António Martins-Tuválkin, 29 December 2007

Quote from Book of All Kingdoms: "From Maxar I went to the Kingdom of Siluana, which they call Septen Castra, and the Greeks call it Horgiml (Transylvania). It is encircled by two great rivers — the Turbo and the Lusim. The king has for his device a green flag with a red scimitar. The people are schismatic Christians."
Alex Danes, 27 July 2008


[Flag of Siluana] image by Alex Danes, 27 July 2008

Quote from Book of All Kingdoms: "I left Constantinople and entered the Mare Mayor (Black Sea), proceeding along the coast of the left hand to a great city called Vecina (Vicina). Here nine rivers unite and fall into the Mare Mayor (Danube Delta). These nine rivers make a great commotion before this city of Vecina, which is the capital of the kingdom. It has a white flag with four red squares."

Vicina was a flourishing important port, under Genoese monopoly, at the Danube, in Northen Dobrudja, near the Danube Delta. The city disappeared sometime during the XVth-XVIIth centuries and today there still is a debate among historians about its precise location. In 1350, Central and Southern Dobrudja was part of the Principality of Dobrotici, the despot. Northen Dobrudja was part of a Tatar principality, under the reign of prince Demetrius. Whether Vicina was part of one or another's principality, I don't know. Romanian Wikipedia says that the Tatar principality was established around 1352, and Dobrotici conquered it and Vicina only in 1359.
Alex Danes, 27 July 2008