Nume: ARDELEANU Constantin

Tema: Istoria Mării Negre

Partener: Institutul de Istorie Nicolae Iorga

Proiect: The Rivalry between the Danubian Ports and Odessa. A Controversial Episode in the Competiton for Controlling the Grain Market in the North - Western Black Sea Area (1829-1856)

Date de contact

Profil Constantin ARDELEANU

Dunărea de Jos University of Galaţi, Str. Domnească nr. 111, Cod 800.201, Galaţi
Tel.: +4/0336/130.194


  • Romanian Academy, "Nicolae Iorga" History Institute, Bucharest, post-doctoral scholarship in the programme "The socio-humanistic sciences in the context of a global evolution", October 2010 – September 2012. Topic – the economic competition between the Danubian ports and Odessa (first part of the 19th century);
  • Romanian Academy, "Nicolae Iorga" History Institute, Bucharest, October 2002 – March 2006, Modern History, Ph. D. in History, Magna cum laude (Ph.D. thesis – The British economic and political interests at the Lower Danube. 1856-1918 – coordinated by Professor Paul Cernovodeanu, Honorary Fellow of the Romanian Academy);
  • "Dunărea de Jos" University of Galaţi, Faculty of Letters, History and Theology, 2001-2003, M.A. in History;
  • "Dunărea de Jos" University of Galaţi, Faculty of Letters, History and Theology, 1997-2001, B.A. in History and English Language.

Work Experience

February 2003 – present. Assistant Lecturer and (currently) Lecturer at the History Department, "Dunărea de Jos" University of Galaţi. Responsible with teaching compulsory courses in Romanian modern history and optional courses in Romanian-British relations, Economic History of the Lower Danube and of the Black Sea regions.

Research Activities


  • Maritime and naval history; The role of the Danube in Romanian and European history; The Black Sea in the modern and contemporary periods.
  • Member in the editorial board of the International Journal of Maritime History, member of the International Maritime Economic History Association, included in the Mediterranean Maritime Historians Database, member in other national associations of historians.


  • About 40 scientific papers published in Romanian and foreign journals and collective books (papers in Romanian, English, French and Italian);
  • Author of three books (all in Romanian): The evolution of British economic and political interests at the Danube mouths (1829-1914), Istros Publishing House, Brăila, 2008, XII+351 pages (ISBN 978-973-1871-13-4), Foreign trade and navigation at the Lower Danube. Statistical series (1881-1900), Europlus Publishing House, Galaţi, 2008, 242 pages (ISBN 978-973-1950-03-7); Foreign trade and navigation at the Lower Danube. Statistical series (1901-1914), Galaţi University Press, Galaţi, 2009, 178 pages (ISBN 978-606-8008-09-7); Translator and editor of the Romanian version of R. W. Seton-Watson, A History of the Romanians. From Roman times to the completion of national unity, Istros Publishing House, Brăila, 2009, XXXVII+540 pages (ISBN 978-973-1871-39-4).

Research grants

  • Coordinator of the research grant funded in 2007 and 2008 by the Romanian Ministry of Education and Research (about 20,000 €) – The Maritime Danube in the route-ways of European trade (1829-1948). Qualitative and quantitative aspects regarding the economic exchanges and the navigation at the Lower Danube;
  • Leader of the Romania team for the Thalis project Black Sea and its port-cities, 1774-1914. Development, convergence and linkages with the global economy, proposed by Professor Gelina Harlaftis, Ionian University, Greece (2010-2015);
  • Member in national research teams: 2005-2007 – research grant coordinated by Professor Ion Agrigoroaiei, "Al. I. Cuza" University of Iaşi; 2006-2007 research grant coordinated by Dr. Daniela Buşă, "Nicolae Iorga" Institute of History, Bucharest.

Other abilities

  • Administrative and budgetary abilities (as former head of the History Department and coordinator of research programs);
  • Interpersonal skills, enjoy working in a team;
  • Good communication skills, able to read, speak and write fluently in English and French.

The Rivalry between the Danubian Ports and Odessa. A Controversial Episode in the Competiton for Controlling the Grain Market in the North - Western Black Sea Area (1829-1856) - project summary

The integration of the Romanian trade in the international circuit, a major consequence of the Black Sea’s opening to European shipping, was a lengthy historical process, covering the last quarter of the 18th century and most of the 19th century, with the treaty of Adrianople marking the decisive turning point for the inclusion of the Romanian market into the European trade routes. Nevertheless, the positive consequences of the Russo-Turkish treaty, securing the access of the Western economic circles to regions little exploited commercially, were shaded by Russia’s acquisition of the only navigable branch of the Danube, Sulina, which allowed the St. Petersburg cabinet to control the navigation of the maritime course of the European river. The Russian impositions in the way of the free trade and navigation at the Lower Danube became, during this quarter of a century, a veritable leitmotif of the diplomatic notes sent to the Russian authorities by the London, Paris or Vienna cabinets. The severe quarantine established at Sulina, the toleration of grave abuses and illegalities or the disinterest for securing optimal navigation conditions on the maritime Danube, the forms of the Russian “aggression” against the European trade, could be easily explained: the development of the ports of Brăila and Galaţi affected the trade of Odessa, the great outlet of the grains from southern Russia. The continuous decrease of the depth at the Sulina bar (15 feet before 1829, about 7 feet in 1853) was the consequence of a deliberate act of sabotaging an ever stronger economic rival. After 1848, the question of Danube navigation, considered the modality by which Russia favoured its own outlets, got into an acute phase, exceeding the sphere of strictly economic divergences and moving onto a political-diplomatic field. As despite the hindrances at Sulina and the military occupation of the Principalities, Brăila and Galaţi exported to the West large quantities of grains, the representatives of the Western political-economic circles considered as possible solutions either to compel Russia, by means of the international law, to make the necessary hydrotechnical works at the Danube mouths or to open an alternative route so as to connect the Romanian territory to the Black Sea (by improving the navigability of the St. George mouth of the Danube or by building a canal / road / railway over the Dobrudja isthmus). Thus, the issue of the competition between the Danubian ports and Odessa, the largest outlets for grain exports in the Black Sea basin, was a decisive factor that favoured the “cooperation between Austria and Great Britain against Russia”. That the controversial question of the Sulina channel deserves a special place in the genesis of the Crimean War, the conflict that radically changed the modern history of the Black Sea, also results from the progress of the diplomatic negotiations after 1853, when the freedom of navigation at the Danube mouths was unanimously requested by the representatives of the anti-Russian coalition.

Relevant publications

  • Evoluţia intereselor economice şi politice britanice la gurile Dunării (1829-1914) / The evolution of the British economic and political interests at the Danube Mouths (1829-1914), Editura Istros – Muzeul Brăilei, Brăila, 2008, XII+351 p. (ISBN – 978-973-1871-13-4);
  • Geneza contradicţiilor anglo-ruse în privinţa navigaţiei prin gurile Dunării (prima jumătate a secolului al XIX-lea) / The genesis of Anglo-Russian contradictions regarding the navigation through the Danube Mouths, in “Studii şi materiale de istorie modernă”, Editura Academiei, Bucureşti, vol. XX, 2007, pp. 87-116 (ISSN 0567-6320);
  • From Vienna to Constantinople on Board the Vessels of the Austrian Danube Steam-Navigation Company (1834-1842), in “Historical Yearbook”, vol. VI, 2009, pp. 187-202 (ISSN 1584-854X);
  • Aspecte calitative şi cantitative privind rolul economic al grecilor cu protecţie britanică din portul Galaţi / Quantitative and qualitative aspects regarding the economic role of the Greeks with British protection in the port of Galatz, in vol. "Minorităţile etnice în România în secolul al XIX-lea", edited by Viorel Achim and Venera Achim, Editura Academiei Române, Bucureşti, 2010, pp. 27-38 (ISBN 978-973-27-2022-6);
  • Russian-British Rivalry regarding Danube navigation and the origins of the Crimean War (1846-1853), in Journal of Mediterranean Studies, vol. 19, No. 2, 2010 (ISSN: 1016-3476).