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Ioan Axente Sever

IOAN AXENTE SEVER, (1821-1906) The son of Transylvanian Romanian peasants, Axente studied theology and philosophy at Blaj, under Simion Barnutiu, and law at Sibiu and Cluj. In 1847, he took a position teaching Latin and Romanian in Bucuresti, where he came into close contact with members of the secret Muntenian revolutionary group Fratia and other Romanian nationalists.

He participated in the Bucuresti revolution of June 1848, and served as a propaganda commissar and nationalist publicist thereafter. In the middle of August 1848, he returned to Transylvania (Sibiu) where he participated in Romanian national activities and pr otests, including the Third Blaj Assembly in September 1848.

He was named prefect of the Blaj Legion of some 10,000 men, the largest Transylvanian Romanian military formation, and earned the nickname Sever for his unflinching severity. In 1849, his unit joined Avram Iancus resistance in the Apuseni Mountains, most notably in the defeat of Hatvany in May and the breaking of the siege of Alba Iulia in July.

After 1848, he refused Habsburg decorations, but served in the leadership of the Romanian national movement (cofounding ASTRA in 1861) and in the Sibiu Diet (1863-1865). Later in life he continued to nuture utopian aspirations and plans for Romanian national unification that were unfeasible at the time, but provided inspiration for the movement after World War I.
Paul E. Michelson


Adrian T. Pascu, Ioan Axente Sever (1821-1906) Cluj-Napoca, 1985.

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