Introductory image Valentin Grigore
Text and photos Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
Design Florin Alexandru Stancu

Every year the president of SARM, Valentin Grigore,
uses to create something for the birthday of the Romanian national genius,
Mihai Eminescu (1850-1889),
who is nicknamed “the Evening Star of Romanian Poetry”.

In 2019 Valentin made a montage
on a personal picture with the planet Venus (the Evening Star in folklore),
including a significant excerpt from Eminescu’s Satire (Epistle) 1.

In iy turn, I chose the following smaller excerpt
about ihe Big Bang and evolution from the same poem, written in 1881
(between the theories of a primordial impulse from the 18th century
and the official theories of the Big Bang,
launched by Alexander Friedmann, Georges Lemaitre and Edwin Hubble
in the 1920s),
in the English version of the genial man of letters Corneliu M. Popescu
(who lived only 19 years in between 1958 and 1977),
the best translator of Eminescu’s poems:

“…Into the time are things began, when being and not being still
Did not exist to plague man’s mind, and there was neither life nor will,
When there was nothing that was hid, yet all things darkly hidden were,
When self-contained was uncontained and all was slumber everywhere.
Was there a heavenly abyss? Or yet unfathomable sea?
There was no mind to contemplate an uncreated mystery.
Then was the darkness all so black as seas that roll deep in the earth,
As black as blinded mortal eye, and no man yet had come to birth,
The shadow of the still unmade did not its silver threads unfold,
And over an unending peace unbroken empty silence rolled!...
Then something small in chaos stirred... the very first and primal cause.
And God the Father married space and placed upon confusion laws.
That moving something, small and light, less than a bubble of sea spray,
Established through the universe eternal and unquestionable sway...
And from that hour the timeless mists draw back their dark and hanging folds.
And law in earth and sun and moon essential form and order moulds.
After that day in endless swarms countless flying worlds have come
Out of the soundless depth of space, each drawn towards its unknown home,
Have come in shining colonies rising from out infinity,
Attracted to the universe by strange and restless urge to be…”

(from Mihai Eminescu’s Satire 1, 1881;
English version by Corneliu M. Popescu)


On the evening of 2018 October 16
I saw in Bucharest
two beauties of the universal evolution, the Moon and Mars.

One day later I went to the town of Valentin Grigore, Targoviste
(former Capital of Wallachia or the Romanian Land)
to visit the Museum of Man’s Evolution and Technology
in the Paleolithic
(the first of this kind in Central and South-East Europe),
which was opened in 2014 in the area of the Stelea Monastery.

Among the interesting exhibits,
I remarked a corner with variants of processing of ocher,
presented as the oldest direct proofs of the symbolism
of the Neanderthal Man.

It is great to be part
Of the universal evolution.
I’d think more of this, but
I’m balled up by the Earth’s revolution.

As a local sample of the universal evolution,
the Stelea Monastery has also an interesting story.

Thus, in the 17th century, the “voievods” and “domnitors”
of Wallachia, Matei Basarab,
and Moldova, Vasile Lupu,
were rivals for the moral leadership of Oriental Orthodox Latinity,
but finally they understood they should be brothers,
and decided that each of them should reciprocally make a new church,
Matei Basarab in Moldova and Vasile Lupu in Wallachia,
to honor their new attitude.

In fact, this was a pre-unionist gesture
two centuries before the union of Wallachia with Moldova…

So that Vasile Lupu made a church in 1644-1645 right here,
in the territory if an older monastery,
founded by the trader Stelea in the 16th century.

I visited with pleasure the Stelea Monastery
during the next days…

And finally I admired the local variants of the coats of arms
of Moldova (including the floral Sun, the Evening Star and the Moon)
and Wallachia (including the Sun and the Moon).

If two old rivals become partners,
They deserve at least a cosmic verse.


© 2019 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)