The Transylvanian Saxons (German: Siebenburger Sachsen; Hungarian: Erdelyi szaszok; Romanian: Sasi) are a people of German ethnicity who settled in Transylvania (German: Siebenburgen) from the 12th century onwards. The colonization of Transylvania by Germans was begun by King Geza II of Hungary (1141_1162). For decades, the main task of the German settlers was to defend the southeastern border of the Kingdom of Hungary. The colonization continued until the end of the 13th century. Although the colonists came mostly from the western Holy Roman Empire and generally spoke Franconian dialects, they were collectively known as Saxons because of Germans working for the Hungarian chancellery. For much of their history, these Saxons held a privileged status with the Hungarian nobles and Szeklers of Transylvania.
Contributions by Olessi, 220.127.116.11, and Bogdangiusca.