Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso, better known as Ovid, lived during the rule of Augustus. He is held at par with Latin legends Virgil and Horace. Remembered for his mythological masterpiece the Metamorphoses, a 15-book Latin poem, he spent his final years exiled in a city on the Black Sea.
Mircea Eliade was a Romanian fiction writer, historian of religion, professor at the University of Chicago, and philosopher. His stories and novels have been adapted into films, such as The Bengali Night, which was directed by Nicolas Klotz. His works have also influenced writers all over the world.
Considered the national poet of Romania, Mihai Eminescu was a major figure of Romanticism in Romanian literature. Starting as an editor for the paper Timpul, he later penned iconic poems such as Luceafărul, or The Evening Star, and stories such as Sărmanul Dionis and Cezara. He, unfortunately, died in a mental asylum.
Romanian far-right politician Corneliu Zelea Codreanu founded the anti-Semitic and fascist movement called Iron Guard, also known as the Legionary Movement. While the movement turned into a successful political party, it was crushed by King Carol II, while Codreanu was imprisoned and then shot to death while escaping.
Paul Celan was a Romanian-born poet who wrote in the German language. One of the most important and influential German-language poets of the post-Second World War era, Celan was awarded the Bremen Literature Prize and the Georg Büchner Prize in 1958 and 1960 respectively. Paul Celan is also remembered for his work as a translator.
Edward Luttwak is an American author best known for his works on military strategy, grand strategy, military history, geoeconomics, and international relations. One of Edward Luttwak's well-known books, Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace, is used extensively at war colleges all over the world.
Hungarian Jewish doctor and forensic pathologist Miklós Nyiszli was sent to Auschwitz along with his family. He survived the concentration camp to tell the tale in his iconic book Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account. Though he escaped death, he was forced to conduct experiments on fellow inmates under Dr. Josef Mengele.
Romanian author Ion Creanga is best remembered for his pioneering contribution to children’s literature, Childhood Memories. He was associated with the Romanian literary society Junimea and the realist art movement. He also enriched the folklore of Romania, drawing on the fairy tales of his land.
Romanian playwright, author, and poet Ion Luca Caragiale was known for his biting satire and parody. A Stormy Night and A Lost Letter are 2 of his best-known dramatic works. At various times, he had also been a journalist, a civil servant, and a restaurateur.
Andrei Alexandrescu is a Romanian-American computer programmer. He is best known for his groundbreaking work on policy-based design implemented through template metaprogramming. Andrei Alexandrescu is also known for authoring the book, Modern C++ Design.
Lucian Blaga was a Romanian poet, philosopher, poetry translator, playwright, and novelist. He was also associated with the University of Cluj, where he worked as a professor of cultural philosophy. Over the course of his career, Lucian Blaga was honored with several prestigious awards, such as the Hamagiu Award and a nomination for the Nobel Prize for Literature.
One of Romania’s most prominent novelists, short story writers, and poets, Mircea Cărtărescu is best known for his novels such as Travesti and Nostalgia. He has previously been a Writers' Union of Romania writer-in-residence and has also taught at the universities of Bucharest, Amsterdam, and Stuttgart.
Romanian historian, journalist, and author Neagu Djuvara had also been a diplomat. His political activities got him exiled, and he remained in Paris for a while and then settled in Niger as a foreign ministry advisor. He also taught at the University of Niamey and, later, at the University of Bucharest.
Known for his extremist views, Romanian politician Corneliu Vadim Tudor established the Romania Mare Party and became known as one of the most significant figures of Romanian politics following the Romanian Revolution. An author and journalist, too, he served as the court poet to dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
Romanian author Ion N. Theodorescu, better known as Tudor Arghezi, is remembered for his contribution to Romanian children’s literature and for introducing a new lyric poetry form. He was a leading figure of Poporanism and Symbolism in Romania. The novel Wooden Icons and the poetry collection Suitable Words remain 2 of his best-known works.
Herder Prize-winning Romanian poet and essayist Nichita Stănescu was also nominated for the Nobel Prize. Best known for his work 11 Elegies, he was a Communist at heart and lived most of his live in poverty. He was posthumously made a member of The Romanian Academy.
Mihail Sadoveanu was a Romanian political figure, journalist, short story writer, and novelist. One of the most prolific writers of Romania, Sadoveanu is best remembered for his adventure and historical novels. In 1961, Mihail Sadoveanu was honored with the prestigious Lenin Peace Prize.
Right-wing Romanian politician Octavian Goga was a significant part of the Romanian nationalistic movement and the Romanian National Party. He later formed the National Christian Party and led Romania as its prime minister. He was a talented poet, playwright, and journalist, too, and penned works such as The Olt River.
Liviu Rebreanu was a Romanian playwright, novelist, journalist, and short story writer. Throughout his life, Rebreanu was part of several literary circles. From 1925 to 1932, Liviu Rebreanu served as the president of the Romanian Writers' Society. Some of his notable works include Pădurea spânzuraților, Adam și Eva, and Răscoala.
Widely remembered as the co-inventor of Dadaism and a pioneering figure of Constructivism, Marcel Janco was a Romanian-Israeli visual artist and architect. He is also said to have contributed to the "bishop dress" characteristic of Dadaism. He also established the Israeli art colony Ein Hod and founded the avant-garde magazine Contimporanul.
Sergiu Nicolaescu was a Romanian actor, film director, and politician. He is best remembered for his historical films like Mihai Viteazul and Dacii. After starting his career in Romania, Nicolaescu eventually moved to the USA, where he had a successful career. As a politician, Sergiu Nicolaescu played an important role in the 1989 Romanian Revolution.
Isidore Isou was a Romanian-born French novelist, dramaturge, poet, visual artist, film director, and economist. He is credited with founding an art and literary movement called Lettrism, which owed inspiration to Surrealism and Dadaism. Isidore Isou is best remembered for his revolutionary 1951 movie, Traité de Bave et d'Eternité.
Elizabeth Bibesco was an English actress, socialite, and writer. From 1921 to 1940, Bibesco published a book of poetry, two plays, four novels, and three collections of short stories. Elizabeth Bibesco is perhaps best remembered as the daughter of former British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith.
Romanian and French poet, philosopher, and critic Benjamin Fondane was primarily associated with surrealism and symbolism. He was also a major figure of Jewish existentialism and neoromanticism, and penned a few avant-garde plays, too. Deported from France by the Nazis and sent to Auschwitz, he died in a gas chamber at age 45.