Front: Nicolae Balcescu (1819-1852), Romanian historian, writer and
Balcescu was a passionate student of history. At the age of 19,
he joined the army, and in 1840, participated in plot against landowner
D. Filipescu. The conspiracy was discovered, and Balcescu was incarcerated
in the Margineni Monastery where he stayed for two years.
Upon his release, he formed a secret organization called Fratia (Brotherhood) with Ion Ghica
and Christian Tell. In order to further study history, Balcescu went to
France and Italy and was editor of a magazine entitled Magazin istoric pentru
Dacia (History Magazine for Dacia), which first appeared in 1844.
Following popular uprisings in France in 1844, Balcescu was inspired to return to
Bucharest to participate there in the June 11th revolution. He was, for just
two days, both Minister and Secretary of State of the provisional government
put in place by the revolutionaries. As part of the liberal faction, he was
for the appropriation of land by peasants and universal suffrage.
Balcescu was arrested on September 13 of that year by the authorities of the
Ottoman Empire who had stifled the revolution. He then managed to escape and
left for Transylvania from where he was then expelled by Habsburg authorities.
By 1849, Balcescu was in Budapest to negotiate an agreement between Romania and
Hungarian revolutionaries, but after this agreement was signed, the Hungarian
revolution was overthrown.
He died in Palermo of tuberculosis at 33 years of age.
Back: The Roman Athenaeum concert hall in Bucharest