|Other:||Râmnicu Vâlcea, Târgu Jiu, Braşov and Bacău.|
|Official:||Romanian, Serbian, Hungarian|
|Others:||German, Xliponian, Ukrainian, Russian, Greek, Bulgarian, Croatian|
|Established:||April 1918, after Hungary's defeat in the First Great War|
Taking its name from the river "Olt," this hook-shaped country is part of the Romanian Federation. Visitors and researchers into this small nation almost immediately notice the prevelance of the bat as a symbol. It adorns nearly every flag, is on the local currency and even military insignia.
Sociologists maintain that Oltenia, as a small country in a disputed region, has used the symbol as a unifying factor. It was and is the sigil of a very prominent (and large) boyar family, one that ultimately led Oltenia into independence and from which have come all of the country's Princes.
Since the fall of the Snorist regime, Oltenia has been led by members of the House of Vlas-Florea, a cadet branch of the original princely family that reigned over the country after the First Great War. The current prince is Igor Nicolescu Vlas-Florea (born 1949), who had been first an air corps officer then a political prisoner under house arrest during the Snorist control of the country. This helped make him a symbol in the country and it was really the symbol rather than the man who was made prince. The actual method of succession remains a matter of debate and constant revision of current law. All agree that the title should remain within the Florea family, but one sticking point is whether it should be restricted to that of Vlas-Florea or include any other branch and if so, which ones? Another point of debate is whether succession should be allowed along the female. Some simply advocate the use of primogeniture, but that takes away some of the power of the boyars in approving an heir and understandably they oppose it.
Currently, the official heir is Igor's first cousin (his uncle's son) Nicolae Vladescu (born 1961), who is in the diplomatic service.
The prince selects a Chancellor from the legislature, which consists of an elected Forum of Delegates and the noble Council of Boyars. Membership in the latter is also a matter of great debate, but it generally consists of 79 persons. The Forum consists of 129 persons. It is the Council that must approve the heir to the princedom, but the Forum may put any nomination (which must come from the prince) on hold for three years by a simple majority. Should the throne become vacant in without an official heir, the entire legislature would elect a new prince.
It is the Chancellor who functions as the head of government in most ways, selecting the cabinet and doing most of the day-to-day administration. Yet the prince has certain powers:
- The power of absolute veto twice per legislative session, which cannot be overturned.
- The power of limited veto, which can be overturned by a 2/3 majority of the legislature.
- The power of delaying veto, which puts any legislation on "hold" for two years and cannot be overridden.
- The power to dismiss the Premier and call for a new general election.
- The power of pardon.
More, the prince is the official commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
The Supreme Executive Courtis the highest court in the land, whose members are selected by the chancellor from the Superior Council of Magistrates, a group of six judges and six proscecutors elected by the legislature.
Politically, three major parties make up the bulk of all elected officials: The Voivode Party, the Socialist Union and Conservative League.
Members of the Florea family are among the leadership of all three parties.
Romania has functioned for most of the past century as a region whose polities generally backed each other up. In regards to this, Oltenia--having no navy--has a strong infantry but even stronger Air Corps.
Oltenia is divided into 18 counties (judeţe, sing. judeţ; in Hungarian: megyék, sing. megye, in Serbian, opštine, sing. opština).
In alphabetical order they are (Hungarian and Serbian names below the Romanian name):
(mi² - km²)
Moldovsko Dugo Polje
|CM|| Câmpulung Moldovenesc|
Moldovsko Dugo Polje
|GJ||1,636 (3,583)||218,777|| Târgu Jiu|
|MH|| Turnu Severin|
|ML||1,868 (4,092)||302,804|| Câmpulung Muscel|
|NT|| Piatra Neamţi|
|PH||1,849 (4,049)||545,875|| Ploieşti|
|VL||1,280 (2,804)||224,142|| Râmnicu Vâlcea|
The counties are further divided into towns (oraşe / járás / ?) and rural municipalities (comune / település / ?).
Oltenia was inhabited by Dacians during the ancient times and in 106, after two wars, it was incorpored in the Roman Empire. The Romans withdrew the administration south of Danube in the mid-3rd century and Oltenia was ruled by the Germanic Goths and Dacian Carpians.
Little is known about this region afterward, during the Dark Ages, except for some occasional incursions of the Byzantine Empire against the migrating people that settled here. Notable among them were the Southern Slavs, who eventually merged in the Romanian population.
Around 1247 a new principality emerged in Oltenia under the rule of Seneslau, which would later merge with Muntenia to form the mediaeval state of Wallachia. From an unknown moment and up until 1831, the voivode was represented in Oltenia by a ban (marele ban al Craiovei - "the great ban of Craiova"), considered the greatest office in Wallachian hierarchy, and one that was held most by members of the Craioveşti family (from the late 1400s to about 1550).
Eventually, the Ottoman Empire conquered first Byzantium and eventually nearly the whole of the Balkans save for Xliponia (which had an unsual relationship with its neighbors for a variety of reasons) and Oltenia was one of those. The Empire allowed the territories which became known as Romania a degree of self-rule, largely because their state was organized along religious lines. Conflicts between the Slavic Orthodox and Catholic Groups were given a place, along with the Jews and Muslims under a bureacratic structure with the Sultan at the top. Yet as the Ottoman system began to break down, its Balkan territories began to quietly (sometimes not so quietly) seek help/support from neighboring realms such as Russia and Hungary. The latter set up a system by which local Orthodox Churchmen could combine with the Catholic Church, the so-called Uniates. These actually become the mainstream in Oltenia, and as such were instrumental in lending their support to the Hungarian Revolt of the 19th century. Unfortunately, the Romantic ideal of "nationhood" which helped fuel Hungary's fight meant non-Hungarians were viewed as second-class citizens at best.
During the course of the winter of 1915-1916, Oltenian rebels gradually rose in open rebellion against Hungary, and by April 1918, Oltenia was established as an independent state.
The leaders of the rebels came mostly from the three different branches of the Florea family, whose bat sigil became identified with the movement for Oltenian independence. Specifically, the flaming sword of the original Florea family--once voivodes--was joined with the bat to become the bat surrounded by flames. At this point the following members of the Florea family became Princes of Oltenia:
- Mihail (born 1865, died 1922) reigned 1918-1922. He was the popular favorite as Prince, but argued often with other boyars and with various political leaders.
- Alexandru (born 1899, died 1930) reigned 1922-1925 was Mihail's son but abdicated after falling ill. Rumors said poison or syphilis. Medical records say severe epilepsy following multiple concussions from a fall off a horse.
- Radu (born 1870, died 1941) was Mihail's brother, reigned from 1925 until 1939. His death date is conjecture, since he was taken prisoner by the White Army and is believed to have died in captivity from old age. His only son, Vlad, died in the fighting before his father.
- Simion (born 1910, died 1987) was Mihail's younger son. An albino, he was not seriously considered as a potential to the throne until after the Snor takeover. He was the Pretender to Oltenia's throne, living in Xliponia until his death. He became an Orthodox priest and died childless. A play by Ion Nastase about him has been popular in Romania since its first production in 1989 (in the play he is haunted by the unavenged ghost of his uncle, Prince Radu).
When the Second Great War broke out, Oltenia and the other Romanian states remained neutral. Nevertheless, it was invaded, conquered and annexed by Hungary. Shortly afterwards, Muntenia encountered the same fate. Both states remained under Hungarian rule for most of the remainder of the war. Near the end of the Second Great War, however, Oltenia was liberated by the armed forces of snorist Russia, and just like most other countries liberated by Russia, turned into a pro-snorist satellite state.
During the snorist era, which lasted in Oltenia from 1948 to 1989, the regime caused much ethnic tension by favouring the Serbian population over the Romanian, and by using members of the Hungarian minority for the dirty work (secret police, etc.) in order to direct the population's hostility against the Hungarians and distract it from the Serbs and the SNOR itself. The governing body at that time was a council generally known as the White Regency, administering Oltenia until the process of selecting a new prince among the competing claims of various Floreas could be complete. That this process took generations was anything but accidental.
Before the fall of the SNOR in Russia itself, Oltenia was one of the first countries in Eastern Europe to throw off the Russian yoke. One year later, it became one of the three constituents of the Romanian Federation.
The death of the Pretender in 1987 helped spur increasing calls for the selection of a Prince. Among other things, this was a point of ethnic pride for the Romanians ill-treated in their own country. This in fact was the beginning of the Voivode Party, and led to a series of strikes and demonstrations all over the country. At length, just to quiet things down, the Regents announced they'd narrowed the candidates down to two--Air Colonel Igor Vlas-Florea and Magistrate Gavril Florea-Doneascu, whose mother was Hungarian. What was expected to quiet things down in fact made things worse for the Regency Council, because Gavril (their intended choice) was totally unacceptable to the vast majority. The strikes and demonstrations increased, and some governmental leaders--sensing the way the wind was blowing--began to support the Voivode Party. Accusing Igor Vlas-Florea of malfeasance and putting him under house arrest did nothing to quell the unrest. Quite the opposite. Demands for Prince Igor to take the throne grew every day and in the end, to (barely) avoid civil war, the Regents did indeed crown him. Within three months the Snorist regime was largely dismantled. A somewhat curious side effect of this was the vast popularity of posters and t-shirts showing the new Prince Igor in the NAL, in Louisianne and elsewhere as he was taken up as something of an icon for many in the (usually anti-monarchist) Anti-Snorist Movement.
Gavril Florea-Doneascu fled to Hungary, then to New Francy with his wife.
Mountainous and green, Oltenia contains some of southeastern Romania's oldest surviving artifacts, edifices, and folklore, with little Turkish, Russian or Greek influence.
Oltenia is a country where mountains make up a big part of the landscape. Except for the western plains, around the capital Timişoara, almost the entire country is dominated by the Carpathian Mountains that run like an arch along the length of the land. The highest mountains are found in the southeast (the Oltenian Alps) where the highest peak of the country is found, Moldoveanu (8595 p) in the Făgăraş massif.
The second longest river in Europe, the Danube flows along a part of the western border with Serbia. Other major rivers include the Mureş and the Olt, two rivers both of which have a source in the eastern part of the country, then flow through Hungary before passing through Oltenia again, Mureş on its way west into Hungary and Olt on its way south into Muntenia. Rivers like the Jiu, the Argeş, the Dâmboviţa and the Ialomiţa all have their sources in the central part of the country and flow south into Muntenia. The Siret flows in the very east of the country, forming a part of the border with Moldova.
Some of the major cities are:
- Râmnicu Vâlcea
- Târgu Jiu
- Piatra Neamţ
The Oltenian government is trying very hard to develop tourism, which includes things like improving roads and the train system, as well as funding things like the Princely Guard, complete with elaborate uniforms and ceremonial functions held in very public locales. Oltenian wines are a popular export as are some cheeses.
Oltenia also is home to a major airship line: Aerolt
Another source of income for the nation is sales of air weapons systems, such as the V-15 Firebolt and its predecessors. Some view this with a degree of alarm, but so far Oltenian policy has been what most countries agree as responsible.
The motion picture career of the Prince's daughter Nicola Vlas-Florea seems to have improved tourism for the country.
Something many Oltenians know about but prefer not to openly discuss is another newly flourishing industry in the nation--pornography. With the advent of video, and the corresponding increase in freedom as well as growing prosperity, home-grown productions of explicit pornography have been steadily on the rise. More, they are an increasing successful export.
The currency of Oltenia used to be the florin (pl. florini, 1 florin = 180 filar) but has now been replaced by the new common currency of the Romanian Federation, the leu nou (pl. lei noi) or "new leu" (1 leu = 180 bani).
Among other things, Oltenia is particularly well-known for its many monasteries and its high-quality (as well as highly potent) wines.
One very famous Oltenian (although he spent most of his life abroad) was the literature professor and novelist Vlad Nabokhev who wrote the (in)famous work Lotilda about a pedophile and his relationship with his twelve-year-old stepdaughter. The novel, banned in some places, has been filmed twice.
Flags, Seals, Insignia, etc.
Arms of the Oltenian Air Corps