The tradition of publishing monographic works dedicated to more or less important places is rather old in Romania, having its origin before World War I. Usually written by teachers or by priests, with rather modest documentation means, nevertheless they keep many valuable testimonies picked up from the local oral tradition, which otherwise would have not been handed down to us. The communist period has radically altered the content of such works, historical data being often distorted by ideological patterns or censored by the authors themselves so that the events of the interwar period, especially the political ones or those related to the church used to be almost absent. The emphasis used to be placed on the economic and cultural achievements of the new regime.
After 1989, the publication of monographs on particular places has undergone a genuine renaissance, given that the printing possibilities have diversified, the financial factor usually being the only “censor” of such enterprises. The most important novelty has been the enrichment of the content with a lot of images, some of them rather rare, of real historical value, others rather commonplace, still reflecting the mentality of the recently closed period, or even the vanity of some transitory local magnates.
“Teius Over the Ages” is not a monograph in the classical sense of the word, even if the several tens of text pages in the beginning give the geographical, economic and historical framework necessary in order to outline the portrait of this town of the centre of Transylvania. The work is rather a genuine picture chronicle, reflecting the town's municipal evolution as well as moments in the life of its inhabitants, during more than a century. From some old postcards of a real documentary value dating back to before World War I, up to family photos, rendering aspects of daily life which may appear as ordinary, but with interesting vintage elements (costumes, occupations, marriage or funeral ceremonies), Mr. Bota's album brings together on its pages a miscellaneous collection of images, which are interesting not only for the inhabitants of Teiuş town, but also for anyone who wants to take a visual journey into the history of a Transylvanian market town, starting from the end of the 19th century until today. Of course, the selection of images may have not always been best inspired; certainly there are some aspects of the past that lack from this work, most of them through no fault of the author who has done his best to collect new proofs up to the moment of printing. However, such aspects are fairly minor if compared to the final result. The translation of the text and the captions into several foreign languages contribute to the extension of the book's circulation, so that Teiuş may become an open book for any European citizen interested in this century-old town.
I cannot but congratulate the author on his tireless endeavour as a collector, which I am sure will not stop here, and I also congratulate those who have understood and helped him with his enterprise.
Alba Iulia, 19th June 2009
Reader Horia CIUGUDEAN, Ph.D.