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Ioan Dragos

Ioan Dragos (1810-1849) One of the most controversial personalities of the 1848-1849 Revolution in Transylvania, Ioan Dragos was born in Oradea. A noble man by birth, he was educated mostly in Hungarian schools at Beius and Oradea, and then worked as a jurist comitatens. Radicalized by the outbreak of the revolution in 1848, Dragos became active in the political movement of the Romanians in Hungary and in confronting the Magyar oligarchy in the Bihor. He did not, however, concur with the decisions of the Romanian national assembly at Blaj in May, 1848, opting to support the union of Transylvania with Hungary. In June 1848, he was elected to the Pe st Diet, where he became a fervent support of Lajos Kossuth. In April of 1849, he was commissioned by Kossuth to negotiate with the leaders of the Transylvanian Romanian movment in an attempt to bring about rapproachment between Romanians and Magyars. Dragos' mission to the Apuseni Mountains, suspect from the start, ended tragically. While he was negotiating with Avram Iancu, Ioan Buteanu, and others, Kossuth ordered the resumption of military operations against Romanian forces in the Apusen i region. Two Romanian prefects, Buteanu and Petre Dobra, were captured (and later executed) by Emeric Hatvani's forces, who also burned the city of Abrud. Dragos, whose mission had wittingly or unwittingly betrayed the Romanian cause, was captured and executed by the Romanians following their successful recapture of Abrud. Dragos remains to Romanian nationalists a striking example of unlikely efforts to achieve compromise between the Romanians and the Hungarians, of someone who was manipulat ed by the Magyars against the national interests of his own people.
Gelu Neamtu


Iosif Sterca Sulutiu, "Ioan Dragos. Biografie," Transilvania, XXIX (1898), Nr. 2-3, 25-60.

Silviu Dragomir, Avram Iancu Bucharest, 1965.

Ambrus Miskolczy, "Roumanian-Hungarian Attempts at Reconciliation in the Spring of 1849 in Transylvlania: Ioan Drago's Mission," Annales Universitatis Eötvös, Historica, X XI (1981), 61-81.

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