||100 lei 2011 - Nicolae Iorga - 140 Years from his birth||
21 mm diameter, 6.452 g, 90% gold, grained edge |
Obverse: ROMANIA, face value 100 LEI, year 2011, coat of arms of Romania, a cover of a volume from "Istoria românilor" (History of the Romanians) written by Iorga, a historical scene: victorious entrance of Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave) in Alba Iulia
|Reverse: bust of Nicolae Iorga, over the chest the signature of the Romanian historian, circular inscription 140 DE ANI DE LA NASTERE meaning "140 YEARS SINCE BIRTH", years 1871 and 1940
Issuing date: 25th of July 2011
Mintage: 500 coins
About Romanian Historian Nicolae Iorga
Nicolae Iorga was born in 1871 at Botoșani, in the family of a lawyer. He studied in the natal city, than at Liceul Național (National College) in Iași. He graduated the University of Iași - historical-literary section - in 1889, in just one year. In 1889 young Nicolae published his first scientific paper (but also some poems in "Convorbiri literare" magazine from Iași). Iorga earned the PhD title in 1893, at the University of Leipzig. In 1895 he became professor of universal history at the University of Bucharest (at the Faculty of Letters). Iorga already became a very appreciated and renowned. In 1897 he was elected corresponding member of the Romanian Academy; he became full member in 1910.
Starting from around 1900 Iorga was involved in politics. In this domain Iorga was remarkable mainly for his patriotic attitude. In 1907 he was elected as deputy by the second electoral college from Iași. In 1919 he was elected president of the Assembly of Deputies. He established several parties and participated to various political alliances. He was a supporter of king Carol II, being president of the Council of Ministers in 1931 and royal counselor in 1938.
In 1908 Nicolae Iorga established the famous summer school of Vălenii de Munte (a small city in Prahova county).
During his entire career Iorga wrote over 1000 volumes and around 25.000 papers, studies and reviews (i.e. a mean of more than one book per month, and more than an article per day!). Nicolae Iorga had an outstanding memory, and a matching work capacity.
The end of the great Romanian historian's life was both awful and undeserved. On the 28th of November 1940 Iorga was found dead on a field nearby Strejnic, not far from Ploiești. A day earlier he had been taken from his villa in the mountain resort of Sinaia by a team of legionaries, that assasinated him. The conflict between legionaries and Iorga was older, but it had been steeply emphasized in 1938, when Corneliu Zelea Codreanu (Captain of the Legion) publicated an article inside which he accused the scientist of "spiritual dishonesty". Iorga sued Codreanu, and in turn the later got convicted for calumny. On the 30th of November 1938, the Captain and other legionaries, condemned for different terms, were killed by the police, at the order of king Carol II (in that time political assassination was a measure used by the Power also, not only by the Legion). Immediately after their ascention to power, the legionaries avenged grimly the death of their commander, by assassinating inside the prison of Jilava tens of persons implied more or less in the liquidation of the Captain. The next day Iorga was killed also, as the legionaries considered him to be "moral author" of Codreanu's assassination.
About the Historical Scene on the Obverse
The historical scene on the obverse reproduces an area of the painting Triumphal Entry of Michael the Brave in Alba Iulia (the event took place on November 1st 1599, after the army of Walachia had won a few days earlier the battle of Șelimbăr against the army of Transylvanian prince Andrew Bathory). On the internet it is stated in several locations that the painting, unsigned, has been painted in the 19th century. Sometimes it is attributed to painter Stoica Dumitrescu (1886 - 1956).