Orthographic History

 Romanian is derived from Latin, introduced during the Roman occupation of Dacia. Elements of other languages later entered the language. For a long period Slavonic was the official language of the church and government, and Romanian was written with a modified Cyrillic alphabet. This alphabet at first had 43 characters plus diacritical signs, reduced to 33 by about 1800, then 28 in 1828, and 27 in 1835. The written language at that time was almost exclusively phonetical. In 1860 the Latin alphabet was officially adopted; it had been introduced into the schools in 1858-9. Between 1780 and 1880 there were over forty different orthographic reforms proposed. Standard Romanian is based on the Wallachian dialect.

Sept. 1869 
Official statement of the Romanian Academy, which had been created in 1866 as the Romanian Literary Society for the express purpose of determining the orthography and grammar of the Romanian language, and to publish a dictionary. The Academy published dictionaries in 1873-7 based on an etymological orthography, and an attempt to eliminate words and letters (q, ī, w, y, z, j) of non-Latin origin.

Official statement of the Romanian Academy (Ortografia limbei romāne). Based on moderated phoneticism, abandoned the excessively latinized spellings of the 1869 system.

Official statement of the Romanian Academy.

June 1904 
Official statement of the Romanian Academy. Reestablished the phonetic system, abandoning the etymological system. Published in Buletinul Telegrafo-Postal 1904/202, and as a separate pamphlet.

A reform by Sextil Pu
wcariu in the name of the Romanian Academy. Based on the phonetic system, but retained that aspect of the etymological system which differentiated between i# and a#, and the uses of apostrophes in elisions and hyphens in joining words.

1953 (law of 1952) -
Further reforms on phonetic principles, mostly to replace ā by ī, except in the country's name since 1965, as defined by the new constitution. The political motivation is said to have been to de-Latinize the alphabet, and obscure Romanian's relationship to Western languages. For political reasons in the former Soviet Union, the Romanian language in Bessarabia was called Moldavian and was written in the Cyrillic alphabet (from 1940 to the establishment of the new state of Moldova). Claims were made that Moldavian was distinct from Romanian, but these are without merit. While much earlier documents exist refering to activity in Romania, the earliest written and dated document in Romanian to have been preserved is a letter of June 29-30, 1521, from Neacwu, a merchant from Cāmpulung-Muscel, addressed to Hanqw (Johannes) Benkner, Magister of Bra
wov, informing him about the movement of the Turks.

Moldavian and Wallachian coins commenced in the 1300's, and were inscribed in Slavonic or Latin, sometimes both. Transylvanian coins were all inscribed in Latin.