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The territory of present day Moldova was part of Dacia, then fell under the influence of the Roman Empire. In the Middle Ages, most of the present territory of Moldova was part of the Principality of Moldavia. In 1812, the eastern part was annexed by the Russian Empire and became known as Bessarabia. Between 1856 and 1878, two southern counties were returned to Moldavia, which in 1859 united with Wallachia to form modern Romania.