Генезис средневекового государства на румынской территории: Молдавия
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THE GENESIS OF THE MEDIEVAL STATE ON THE ROMANIAN TERRITORY: MOLDAVIA
The crucial issues concerning the foundation of the medieval state of Moldavia have been interpreted in various ways, creating a genuine web of opinions at historiographical level. Written documents and archaeological studies have broadened the area of research and led to interpretations which are, actually, unique ways of approach in analyzing the Romanian political entities that evolved into state forms.
A general study of the genesis of the Moldavian state should reach several defining aspects. What we are referring to is the transformation process of the Romanian Voivodeship of Maramure§ into a county, which influenced nobleman Bogdan’s unifying action in Moldavia- the external circumstances which triggered the offensive of the great Christian states against the Mongolian forces concentrated here after the large invasion of the 13th century- the first campaign of the Hungarian Kingdom to free southern Moldavia of the Tartar domination- the consolidation of Hungarian positions east of the Carpathians and, finally, the politico-military action led by a former voivode of Maramure§, Bogdan, which removed the Hungarian control in Moldavia, leading to the formation of states. All this shall be dealt with in the lines to come.
The emergence of the second Romanian medieval state shall be examined starting from a brief analysis of a neighbouring politically organized territory, namely the Voivodeship of Maramure§. The contribution of Romanian feudality in the area to the achievement of the extra-Carpathian Romanian statehood is essential as nobles Drago§ and Bogdan came from this land to set up a new political nucleus: Moldavia. Although studying the evolution and transformations undergone by the nobiliary society of Maramure§ is still facing difficulties caused mainly by the lack of data in the written sources, the identification of the local Romanian nobiliary class, made up of knezes, and the relationship with the Hungarian royalty offered significant advantages in establishing some sort of phasing, a pertinent chronology
regarding this historical sequence of particular importance to the entire process of making the Moldavian state.
Thus, the political evolution of Maramure§ was characterized by fluctuations resulted from the emergence of authority of the Hungarian Kingdom, interested in turning this Romanian entity into its own administrative-territorial unit: county. Documentary evidence of the first counts of Maramure§ dates from the beginning of the 14th century, and, ever since the latter part of the 13th century, we encounter several Maramure§ settlements which depended, administratively and territorially, on the Hungarian county of Ugocsa ruled, in those times, by the Pok family. In 1270, King Steven V of Hungary would give the Oa§ Country to this noble family, an important moment which marked the obvious closeness between the institution of the county and the county of Maramure1. Three decades later, in a document dated 4 October 1303, Nicholas Pok would appear bearing the title of count of Ugocsa and Maramure§ 2.
It is now that we can discuss not about a royal county, but a nobiliary one, resulted from the long Hungarian dynastic crisis. Usurpations of the royal domain and numerous donations made by kings such as Stephen V or Ladislau IV facilitated the quick consolidation of the nobiliary property, in general, and of the nobility, as status, in particular. 16 years later, in an act dated 9 February 1319, the same Nicholas Pok appeared as being a count of Maramure§ only. Documentary evidence (rather poor, though) would suggest that the representative of the royal power, the count, did not actually live in Maramure§, but had, in the area, his own representative, namely the castellan of Visc, as mentioned in the documents of the time3. He symbolized the link between the count and the knezes of Maramure§, representing the interests of the so-called «royal guests» who had settled in late 13th century in the Maramure§ parts, in areas uninhabited by local elements4.
The Hungarian Crown’s first step towards helping the royal guests was taken in 1300, as revealed by a document issued by the last Arpadian dynast, Andrew III. We find therein that the citadel of Visc passed under the authority of the district of Maramure§ from that of the county of Ugocsa in order to better serve the needs of «our guests» (hospitum nostrum)5. As regards the evolution of the county institution during the reigns of Charles Robert of Anjou and Louis I of Anjou, we should notice the importance of the Maramure§ counts' presence, which, in fact, points to the stages of the relations between the local institution of voivodeship and royal authority. Documentary attestation of these counts throughout the 14th century may be interpreted as the Angevine Crown’s persistence to overlap the county, representing the feudal order, over the voivodeship, the embodiment of Maramure§ autonomy.
The basic element of the process was bringing several Maramure§ noblemen under juridical dependence on the Hungarian royalty, by strengthening the control over the land. One of the earliest examples mentioned in documents is the apportionment of property to the Maramure§
1 The apportionment of Oa§ Country to the noble Pok family should be associated with the power struggle between King Bela IV and his son Stephen. It is a well-known fact that Stephen V granted gifts in the intra-Carpathian Romanian area to important members of the nobiliary party supporting his arrival to the Hungarian throne (Salagean T. Transilvania in a doua jumatate a secolului al XIII-lea. Afirmarea regimului congregational. Ed. a 2-a. Cluj-Napoca, 2007. P. 112).
2 Documente privind istoria Romaniei. Veacul XIV. Transilvania. Vol. I (1301−1320). Bucure§ ti, 1953. P. 32.
3 Popa R. Tara Maramure§ ului in veacul al XIV-lea. Ed. a II-a. Bucure§ ti, 1997. P. 196.
4 Ibid. P. 180.
5 Mihaly de Ap§ a I. Diplome maramure§ ene din secolul XIV § i XV. Sighet, 1900. P. 4.
knez Stanislau on 22 September 13 266, when king Charles Robert of Anjou granted him the land of Stramtura. The same document also mentioned, for the first time, the term «district of Maramure§» (In Districtu Maramorisiensi), which highlights the status of this territory in relation to the Hungarian state. The lack of intensity of the process of transformation into a royal county emphasizes the idea that the reign of the first Angevine king of Hungary was to witness the political ascension of the great local families of knezes who would control, in turn, the voivodeship of Maramure§.
With the coming of Louis I of Anjou to the throne of Hungary, the Crown would take direct measures meant to change the social-political status of the Maramure§ feudality. The most significant actions of the Hungarian sovereign were aimed at the Romanian nobility of Transylvania and, especially, the social category of the knezes. The Angevine dynast refused to acknowledge the quality of noblemen of the knezes who hadn’t been confirmed by a royal act, and, thus, ultimately, the acknowledgment of the rule over land, by title of property, and of the status of nobility was to depend on the decision of the royal court7. Consequently, the local feudality became, in just a few years, legally dependent on the Hungarian state.
Royal policy success in Maramure§ was brought about by several factors, of which we should mention the social and juridical transformations the Romanian feudality was subject to and the lack of cohesion of the internal forces which finally led to accepting the Hungarian suzerainty. The effects of the transformations suffered, successively, by the nobles of Maramure§ paved the way for the disintegration of the voivodeship. At the same time, however, Hungary’s actions greatly influenced the constant policy carried out by the former Maramure§ voivode Bogdan after 1343, ended with the overthrow of the Hungarian rule east of the Carpathians and the emergence of the second Romanian medieval state.
As for external circumstances, the central and East European situation to be exact, it should be noted that the idea of restricting the area of Tartar domination prevailed in the first part of the 14th century8. The Mongolian hordes' devastating raids into Central Europe had direct implications for the great Catholic kingdoms in the area. The coalition between Hungary and Poland was strictly required, ever since the first decades of the 14th century, but the internal crises and weakening of central authority made a military intervention on a large scale virtually impossible. Towards the end of the 13th century, the Tartars had imposed their suzerainty on other important states and areas in Eastern Europe. Being more or less dependent, Lithuania, the Principality of Halych, the Romanian territory south and east of the Carpathian chain, Bulgaria and even a part of Serbia fully experienced the Mongolian domination.
The dynastic crisis of early 14th century, the power struggles between the two pretenders to the throne of Hungary, Charles Robert of Anjou and Otto of Bavaria, spread over the course of a decade, allowed the achievement of the first Romanian medieval state: Wallachia. Strained relations between the Hungarian kingdom and the Wallachian state, concluded with the battle
6 Ibid. P. 6- see also Pascu §. Cnezi-cnezate, voievozi, crainici-crainicii din Maramure§ // Maramure§-Vatra de istorie milenara. II. Cluj-Napoca, 1997. P. 43.
7 Papacostea §. Geneza statului in evul mediu romanesc. Cluj Napoca, 1988. P. 85. The knezes who were confirmed by a royal act were assimilated, without restrictions, with the nobility, while those who did not receive such confirmation were reduced to the modest condition of village judges.
8 For a deeper understanding of the issue, we recommend: Ablay M. Din istoria tatarilor. Bucurecti, 1997- Ciocaltan V Mongolii § i Marea Neagra in secolele XIII-XIV. Bucurecti, 1998- Engel P. The Realm of St. Stephen. A History of Medieval Hungary, 895−1526. Londra, 2001- Vasary I. Cumans and Tatars: Oriental Military in the Pre-Ottoman Balkans, 1185−1365, Cambridge, 2005- Papacostea §. La Mer Noire carrefour des grandes routes intercontinentales 1204−1453. Bucurecti, 2006.
of 9−12 November 1330, a military disaster for Hungary, seriously altered the goals of foreign policy which the great Catholic state had intended9. Hungary’s defensive attitude blocked the anti-Tartar actions that both Poland and Papacy looked forward to. The last decade of Charles Robert of Anjou’s reign meant mere «image games», as revealed by the correspondence with the papacy around the year 133 810.
Since the beginning, the new king of Hungary, Louis I, understood the necessity to launch an attack against the Tartar forces concentrated south of Moldavia whose raids were a constant threat for the eastern border of the kingdom. The Hungarian campaign on Moldavian land was prefigured by an expedition to Transylvania, in 1343, prompted by a revolt of the Saxons against the excessive taxation promoted by the Hungarian kingdom. It was now that a political agreement with Wallachia, mentioned in the late Wallachian chronicles11, was to be concluded resulting in Hungary’s acknowledging the new political entity, which had emerged south of the Carpathians, and the latter’s adopting a position of neutrality towards the expedition against the Tartars in Moldavian territories.
The successes that Hungarian Crown obtained in collaboration with the Polish one against the Mongolian rule, during 1345−1347, meant not only that the Mongolian barrier had been broken in the Lower Danube area but also that Tartar domination in southeastern Europe had weakened. The Golden Horde felt, to the fullest, the beginning of the fall, amplified definitely by the outbreak of the plague which affected the capital on the Volga and was going to expand later in the entire Crimea. After removing the Mongolian pressure, King Louis I instated a second phase of his reign, aiming at expanding towards the central European area. The new directions pursued in terms of foreign relations would consolidate Hungary’s status of great power, turning the second Angevine dynast into one of the most important sovereigns of Europe. The initiation of military conflicts in both central and western part of the old continent, successful indeed, would allow Hungary to reach the largest territorial expansion up to that moment12.
The major policy undertaken in Europe proved beneficial for the development of the territory east of the Carpathians into state entities. Neglecting aspects related to the consolidation of the rule over the Moldavian land, Louis I was to be forced to face, in 1359, the first opposing actions initiated by the local population. These were signs that they were willing to free themselves of the Hungarian control, which the Angevine sovereign could not thwart with his own military manpower but with the assistance of several troops of noblemen from Maramure§ sent to quell the conflict.
Let us return for a moment to the first phase of the foundation process of the Moldavian state. It should be mentioned that the reasons to launch a Hungarian expedition east of the Carpathians seem now to have been entirely identified. The official motive, as determined by strategic-military reasons, was securing the eastern borders of the Hungarian kingdom
9 For more information on the Hungarian campaign in Wallachia, see also Lazarescu E. C. Despre lupta din 1330 a lui Basarab voievod cu Carol Robert // Revista istorica. 1935. Vol. XXI. P. 241−246- Iosipescu S. Romanii din Carpatii Meridionali la Dunarea de Jos de la invazia mongola (1241−1243) pana la consolidarea domniei a toata Tara Romaneasca. Razboiul victorios purtat la 1330 impotriva cotropirii ungare // Constituirea statelor feudale romane§ ti. Bucure§ ti, 1980. P. 41−95- HolbanM. Din cronica relatiilor romano-ungare in secolele XIII-XIV. Bucure§ ti, 1981.
10 Documente privind istoria Romaniei. Veacul XIV. Transilvania. Vol. III (1331−1340). Bucure§ ti, 1954. P. 499.
11 Istoria Tarii Romane§ ti (1290−1690). Letopisetul Cantacuzinesc / Ed. by C. Grecescu and D. Simionescu. Bucure§ ti, 1960. P. 198.
12 Of the main actions, let us mention the campaign against the kingdom of Naples (1347), the war with Venice (1358) and the military expeditions in Serbia (1359).
against the Mongolian incursions. Efficient defence of Transylvania could have been provided by controlling the eastern versant of the Carpathians and, therefore, subordinating the entire territory stretching between the Siret river and the mountains — with the valleys of the Suceava, Moldova, Bistrita and Trotu§ - this should be viewed as the main goal pursued by the Hungarian state13.
Field investigations have revealed, in certain parts of the Moldavian area, the presence of settlements fortified by embankments, with palisades and ditches, which had played an important role ever since the last migratory wave, though they are attested especially in the north of Moldavia, being, probably, future centres of local political entities displaying early characteristics of a state14. One of the clarifying examples is the fortified settlement of Batca Doamnei15, equally considered the fortified centre of a local settlement and, also, a possible Hungarian bastion meant for surveillance before the Mongolian raids in Transylvania16.
Another desideratum whose importance should not be minimised and which channelled the Hungarian Crown towards launching a military action was the expansion of Catholicism. In an area inhabited mostly by Orthodox schismatics, implementing the western rite was but a natural cause, considering the traditional religious component of the Hungarian policy, inaugurated, since the foundation of the state, in close relation with the institution of papacy17.
The annexation of southern Moldavia brought Hungary closer to another desideratum of if its foreign policy, namely the exit to the Black Sea. Even though it cannot be proved by documents, the direction pursued by the Hungarian Crown, during the decades to come, prompts us to assume that reaching the maritime area represented a major achievement of Hungarian policy, in the extra-Carpathian space. While the intention of the Hungarian power to expand northward, around the area of the Siret, after the formation of the politico-military nucleus of Baia, does not confirm the desire to immediately accomplish this objective, we believe that it should not be overlooked in the present discussion. The rich Italian commerce conducted at the mouths of the Danube was not indifferent to a great power on the rise, as was Hungary. At the same time, the conquest of southern Moldavia coincided with a period of maximum strain in the Pontic basin between the two states holding commercial supremacy: Venice and Genoa. The new war opposing the two thalassocracies in the Black Sea (1350−1355) finally ended in favour of Genoa which gained control over the entire Pontic coast, thus giving a significant boost to the trade conducted between the mouths of
13 Giurescu C. C. Istoria romanilor. Vol. I. Bucure§ ti, 2000. P. 310.
14 Teodor D. Gh. Contributive cercetarilor arheologice la cunoa§ terea istoriei spatiului carpato-nistrian in secolele II-XIV // Spatiul nord-est carpatic in mileniul intunecat / Coordinated by V. Spinei. Ia§ i, 1997. P. 227.
15 The fortification with palisade on the Batca Doamnei height, which overlaps the Dacian fortification, suggests, by the composition of the material found, i.e. swords, spears, lances, halberd, mace, stirrups, horseshoes, the existence of a military camp and not the centre of a local pre-state political entity (cf. Andronic A. Fortificatiile medievale din Moldova // Memoria Antiquitatis. 1970. Vol. II. P. 405- Nitu A., Zamo§ teanu M. Sondajele de la Piatra Neamt // Materiale § i Cercetari Arheologice. 1959. Vol. VI. P. 365−366- Matasa C., Zamo§ teanu I., Zamo§ teanuM. Sapaturile de la Piatra Neamt // Memoria Antiquitatis. 1960. Vol. VII. P. 347).
16 We shall mention, in this case, the discovery of the dinar dating from the period of Bela IV revealed by the archaeological researches carried out inside the fortification of Batca Doamnei (Oberlander-Tarnoveanu E. Societatea, economie § i politica-populatiile de pe teritoriul Moldovei § i lumea sud-est europeana in secolele IV-XIV in lumina descoperirilor monetare // Suceava. Anuarul Muzeului National al Bucovinei. Suceava, 2001. P. 353).
17 For more information on the attempts of Papacy and the Hungarian Kingdom to consolidate Catholicism in Moldavia, see Moisescu Gh. I. Catolicismul in Moldova pana la sfarcitul veacului al XIV-lea. Bucure§ ti, 1942. P 33−36.
the Danube and central Europe, along the continental track whose final segment crossed the extra-Carpathian Romanian space18.
Accounts on the conquest of the south of Moldavia do not mention several just as important aspects in analysing the establishment of the second extra-Carpathian Romanian state, such as the stage of development of the local Moldavian population in mid-14th century19. Archaeological researches in settlements in some parts of Moldavia revealed, for the period mentioned, that they were organized in villages. Logically, they could group, depending on the needs of the moment, into unions of villages, having economic, military and political characteristics. However, it is difficult to prove if these territorial-political entities could have played an important role in the geographical areas that weren’t naturally defended, especially since the Mongolian domination east of the Carpathians did not become effective but in some parts, presumably those in the south, east and centre. In contrast, the heavily forested and mountainous northern areas were real barriers against invaders. In such places, the liberties people enjoyed were certainly larger since the inhabitants depended on the Asian rulers at most in terms of payment of certain economic obligations.
At the same time, we believe that Mongolian domination was not constant during 12 421 345. In a first stage, Tartar forces secured their rule in Bugeac, then penetrated deeper and deeper into the extra-Carpathian space. Undoubtedly, at the peak of the Mongol Khanate (which coincides with Uzbek’s reign, 1312−1342), the presence of Asian tribes south of Moldavia is proved by the pressure exerted on the eastern borders of the Hungarian kingdom. Failed plans of the two catholic states, Hungary and Poland, aiming to restrict Tartar power, are clear evidence that the fierce migrants had strengthened their redoubtable force in southeastern Europe.
Advanced assumptions lead to the belief that, during the first decades of the 14th century, Mongol domination deepened in the territories east of the Carpathians causing discontent of the local population and thus more or less eased the Hungarian Crown’s plans. Nevertheless, it is still difficult to decide if the Tartars interfered in the domestic issues of the east-Carpathian society, considering that local communities did not have, economically and politically speaking, the necessary force to secure a minimum opposition. Even if people enjoyed the freedom of political organisation, there were still restrictions meant to prevent the emergence of local power centres.
Tartar domination of Moldavia and development of domestic entities remain current issues in Romanian historiography, especially if we consider that, as far as the area stretching east of the Carpathians is concerned, there is no source as important and revealing as the Diploma of the Joannites which carries vital data for determining the degree of evolution of the Romanian society20. The importance of this region, as Mongolian base, is undeniable since Louis
18 Papacostea §. Desavar§ irea emanciparii politice a Tarii Romane§ ti § i a Moldovei (1330−1392) // Evul Mediu Romanesc. Bucure§ ti, 2001. P. 17.
19 In the present stage of the research, we do not have concrete elements to prove the existence, in the first half of the 14th century, on the territory of Moldavia, of voivodeships. The only analogies can be found in certain foreign sources which mention several political leaders who exerted their influence on some parts east of the Carpathians. Such evolution can be accepted rather for the north of Moldavia which, following the middle of the 13th century, did not effectively come under the Mongolian sphere of influence.
20 This is the reason why local Moldavian entities have been searched in chronicles and accounts of foreign travellers, though not convincing as regards the existence of economically and politically stable structures, resembling in organisation the voivodeships south of the Carpathians, led by Litovoi and Seneslau (see the document of June 1247 published in Documenta Romaniae Historica. Tara Romaneasca. Vol. I. Bucure§ ti, 1966. P. 3−7).
I, the new king of Hungary, starting with the very first year of his reign, focused all efforts on eliminating this power pole. The exact chronological moment of liberation of southern Moldavia could not be established, attempts being made to identify it by corroborating the operations unfolded east of the Carpathians with other objectives of Hungarian foreign policy. Sources and chronicles of the time do not bring additional information regarding the combats or battles fought on Moldavian land, but one single decisive confrontation (which occurred on 2 February 1345) that could not have led, automatically, to the annexation of south of Moldavia to the Hungarian kingdom. Therefore, to establish the most precise date possible, three moments, which could generally coincide with the complete liberation of the area, have been forwarded: King Louis I’s campaign in Italy (February 1347), reestablishment of the Cumans' episcopacy (29 March 1347) and dissolution of autonomy of the Principality of Halych by Poland (1349)21.
The purpose of the Hungarian campaign in Moldavia was to set up a politico-military structure having the centre at Baia, an urban-like settlement which had emerged in the 13th century and which could even have represented, for the first half of the 14th century, the capital of a local political entity (kenazate or voivodeship)22. Late chronicle tradition attributes this Hungarian structure to a nobleman from Maramure§ named Drago§. The first important issue related to Dragon’s becoming the head of the military march of Baia was to exactly identify him in the political development of the Maramure§ voivodeship before 1345, which was extremely necessary to «streamline» the events that make up this stage in the foundation of the medieval state of Moldavia.
Assumptions made in time have failed to trenchantly solve the issue of Dragon’s origins, mainly that of his quick political ascension from knez to leader of a border military march. One of the most encountered assumptions places Drago§ among the gentry of Maramure§, being identified as Drago§ of Bedeu, a knez mentioned in a 1336 document alongside his brother Drag. The assumption is questionable because of the act issued on 29 November 1355, in which Drag appears as having the title of royal count («.. cum, Comite Drag olaco de Bedeuhaza, homine ejusdem Domini Regis. «). Drag’s evident political ascension raises questions about that of his brother, the hypothetical beneficiary of an equally important dignity, that of royal deputy, in a newly conquered territory. As a consequence, though the family of Bedeu knezes owes their rise to the close relationship with the royal policy, this sole detail only is insufficient to confirm the assumption according to which Drago§ of Bedeu was one and the same person as the future ruler of the military march established in south Moldavia23.
Another theory meant to determine Dragon’s roots is based on elements of toponymy and sources of popular tradition. It attempts to demonstrate the kinship between Drago§ and one of the central families of Maramure§, namely the Codrea family. Following the arrange-
21 A theory advanced by Gorovei § t. S. Indreptari cronologice la istoria Moldovei in veacul al XIV-lea // Anuarul Institutului de Istorie A.D. Xenopol. Ia§ i, 1973. Vol. 10. P. 105 and Papacostea §. Triumful luptei pentru neatarnare: intemeierea Moldovei § i consolidarea statelor feudale romane§ ti // Constituirea statelor feudale romane§ ti. Bucure§ ti, 1980. P. 175−176.
22 Neamtu V. Istoria ora§ ului medieval Baia (Civitas Moldaviensis). Ia§ i, 1997. P. 14- Spinei V. Generalitati privind geneza ora§ elor medievale din Moldova // Universa Valachica. Romanii in contextul politic international de la inceputul mileniului al II-lea. Chi§ inau, 2006. P. 636−637.
23 See also the researches of Marius Diaconescu (Diaconescu M. Drago§, «descalecatorul» Moldovei, intre legenda § i realitate // Nobilimea romaneasca din Transilvania. Satu Mare, 1997. P. 86), that practically led to the elimination of this assumption that had been intensely mentioned in the Romanian historiography.
ment of events occurred after 1345, it was concluded that Drago§ started the expansion towards the north, with the Siret area as central point. Once liberated, the space was populated by Maramure§ people who set up several villages (Badeuti — Bedeu, Teseuti — Teceu, Tarasauti — Taras, Volovat — Olhoviti), whose names can be found in a similar form all grouped in the Campulung kenazate, ruled by the Codrea family24. These considerations are valuable as regards toponymy, however there is still no documented evidence to support this point of view.
The last assumption regarding Dragon’s social origin refers to the connection with another powerful Maramure§ kenazate, ruled by the Giule§ ti family, who owed their entire political rise to the unconditional support given to the Hungarian regality, in the first half of the 14th century. This theory relies on the act of 20 March 1360 by which nobleman Drago§ of Giule§ ti is granted a number of properties in Maramure§ following his contribution to restoring «the Country of Moldavia"25. The information revealed in the 1360 document remains, in the current stage, the most thorough regarding a person, Drago§, who could have been the main political leader of southern Moldavia. Since the lack of documented evidence is becoming increasingly thwarting for historical research, identifying Drago§, based on this sole act, remains a viable undertaking.
Another complicated matter, with deep implications on the process of founding the medieval state of Moldavia, refers to the position held by Drago§ in the territory east of the Carpathians. Taking into account that Dragon’s installation occurred after the arrival of the Hungarian armies, we have to consider that the office occupied should be included in the Hungarian hierarchy. The events confirm tangentially the military nature of the position held by Drago§. It we should accept, even hypothetically, that Drago§ was the first voivode of Moldavia, then we might believe that the institution itself could not have been organised but on the pattern of Maramure§, so long as its first leader had his roots in the Maramure§ nobiliary structures.
In this particular case, it is precisely the nature of the Hungarian ruling that emphasises the impossibility of a close collaboration of the local population with the Hungarian occupation whose main representative was Drago§. Political subordination and religious pressures (reestablishment of the episcopate of Milcovia in 1347) confirm the fact that east of the Carpathians there were attempts to only replace a Tartar domination with a new one exerted by the Hungarian Crown. Therefore, the voivodal office held by Drago§ becomes impossible to prove, as it is hard to accept that local society’s leaders would have acknowledged the appointment, as ruler, of someone who could not represent their interests.
With the Moldavian chroniclers of the 16th-17th centuries, we encounter similar versions regarding the position held by Drago§. Of these, the most interesting is Misail the Monk’s insertion in «Letopisetul Tarii Moldovei» written by Grigore Ureche revealing that Dragon’s rule was like a captaincy («a fost domnia ca o capitanie"26) — the information raised heated debate in historiography as it launched a different perspective on the prerogatives of the office of voivode. Corroborating this mention of Grigore Ureche’s chronicle with another older source,
24 Gorovei § t. S. Drago§ § i Bogdan, lntemeietorii Moldovei. Probleme ale formarii statului feudal Moldova, Bucure§ ti, 1973. P. 77. For a more recent bibliography, see Gorovei § t. S. Intemeierea Moldovei. Probleme controversate, Ia§ i, 1997.
25 Mihaly de Ap§ a I. Diplome maramure§ ene din secolul XIV § i XV. P. 38−39.
26 Ureche G. Letopisetul Tarii Moldovei. Bucure§ ti, 1978. P. 72.
the Moldo-Russian chronicle27, according to which Drago§ crossed into Moldavia at the head of his druzhina (a term which designates a group of warriors), we can identify the vital military role of his position. Thus, the dignity of voivode attributed to Drago§ becomes, by interpreting the two sources, a mere substitution of an office associated, erroneously, with a person who seemingly ruled over a territory east of the Carpathians not as a voivode but as a military commander who was supposed to secure, by force of arms, the control of the area.
The title of «captain», attributed to Drago§, has a different connotation if considered from the perspective of the time in which Misail the Monk inserted his interpolation. From this angle, it does not resemble a western military march, which had large territorial extension, but rather a military unit that, in the 17th century, grouped military categories with permanent obligations from a number of villages, thus having a much smaller extension28. For this reason, the position of voivode, considered in relation with the time of Misail the Monk’s insertion, cannot apply as it did not incorporate the local political structures and entities existing on that territory.
Beyond the real implications entailed by such a dignity, we notice, with the Moldavian chroniclers, the need to secure some sort of dynastic continuity, which had not been broken, but continued by Bogdan’s arrival. The desire to have a dynasty east of the Carpathians, that should start with Drago§ and continue with Sas, was beyond the attempt to emphasize the historical truth. This could be one of the reasons Drago§ was mentioned in most of the chronicle as the first voivode or prince of Moldavia. Data and chronology we encounter in annals (Letopisete) and chronicles may have as a starting point a prototype (which remains unknown) dating from the 15th century, out of which grew Letopisetul de la Bistrita, the Moldo-German chronicle, Letopisetul de la Putna written at the wish or under the care of prince Stephen the Great29. Later on, this model was to be easily adopted by chroniclers, drawn by the idea of establishing some continuity of the first Moldavian dynasty which should emerge after the removal of Tartar domination east of the Carpathians.
Dragon’s disappearance from the political scene remains as shrouded in mystery as the issue of his emergence and ascension. Considering that Drago§ was one of the characters who distinguished himself in the confrontations against the Mongolians, it is but natural to believe that he died in one of these battles. Taking into account that Hungary’s offensive against the Mongol forces ended around 1357, we may assume that Dragon’s disappearance occurred some time close to this date. Even if most of the Moldavian chronicles indicate that after his death power was assumed by his son, Sas, this development still raises questions30. Judging from a strictly political viewpoint, the existence of a dynasty under Hungary’s suzerainty is difficult to prove. The emergence of some succession in the newly-freed territories east of the Carpathians would have hardly been accepted by the Hungarian royalty, considering that, in the previous century, in the extra-Carpathian Romanian space, there had been strains with
27 Cronicile slavo-romane din secolele XV-XVI, published by Ioan Bogdan, revised and enlarged edition of P. P. Panaitescu. Bucure§ ti, 1959. P. 159.
28 Rezachevici C. Cronologia domnilor din Tara Romaneasca § i Moldova, a. 1324−1881. I. Sec. XIV-XVI. Bucure§ ti, 2001. P. 415−416.
29 Sacerdoteanu A. Succesiunea domnilor Moldovei pana la Alexandru cel Bun. Pe baza documentelor din secolul al XIV-lea § i a cronicilor romanecti din secolul al XV-lea § i al XVI-lea, scrise in limba slavona // Romanoslavica. 1965. Vol. XI. P. 222.
30 Sas appears in documents in relation with his sons and not with Drago§, which raises questions regarding the kinship between the two (Mihaly de Ap§ a I. Diplome maramure§ ene din secolul XIV § i XV. P. 56, 57, 68).
the local institutions of the kenazate-voivodeship type. Therefore, the establishment of a centre of power which could develop at dynastic level was a dangerous demarche capable of deviating, at any moment, the objectives laid down by the Hungarian Crown in these territories.
Sas’s appearance on the political scene of the territory east of the Carpathians should be placed somewhere between 1357−1360, since the anti Mongolian offensive led by the Hungarian kingdom was in regress. Leader of a political entity in pre-state Moldavia, Sas was supposed to coordinate a process of territorial extension, integrating or annihilating existing local structures.
Archaeological research does not directly point to the fact that the Hungarian Crown’s policy of territorial expansion had, as «terminus» point, the Siret area. Siret, as urban centre, flourished in mid-14th century and the role it had been granted, that of advanced pawn of Catholicism in Moldavia, could not have been ensured but by foreign elements31. If we were to analyse Siret as the new centre of Hungarian rule east of the Carpathians, we couldn’t but start from hypothetical considerations32. Excavations in the area did not reveal the existence of a princely court or a political and military centre from which Dragon’s or Sas’s power could propagate33.
The climax was reached in 1359 when a local uprising broke out east of the Carpathians, against the Hungarian domination. The very idea of uprising mentioned in documents confirms the assumption that it was not an action of local leaders only for it equally engaged the common people. The circumstances in which Sas lost control of the pro-Hungarian entity east of the Carpathians are unknown. One of the reasonable and frequently used assumptions supports the idea that his removal took place after the former voivode of Maramure§, Bogdan, had crossed into Moldavia. The battle fought on this occasion led to the removal of royal control and Sas, as a main representative of the Hungarian policy in the east-Carpathian space, was, presumably, actively involved in the clash.
The complete image of the final stage of foundation of the Moldavian state cannot be built only by establishing some chronological reference points regarding Bogdan’s coming to Moldavia and the overthrow of Hungarian domination. The politico-administrative transformations that the intra-Carpathian Romanian territories went through were crucial in the future political tensions whose central figure was Bogdan. This county-voivodeship duality, more and more powerful during the first decades of the 14th century, represents the essence of the conflicting state especially since Bogdan, as the highest in rank in Maramure§, could not remain indifferent to the attempts of restricting the rights and liberties in the area he was ruling.
Bogdan’s removal as head of the Voivodeship of Maramure§ remains (beyond the aboveanalysed aspects) a moment which continues to group unclear aspects. Bogdan was not just anybody in the hierarchy of Maramure§. In addition to the position of voivode, temporarily filled, he had become, due to his vast possessions, the leader of the most powerful kenazate of
31 Matei M. D. Studii de istorie ora§ eneasca medievala (Moldova, sec. XIV-XVI). Ed. a II-a. Targovi§ te, 2005. P. 39.
32 See Reli S. Ora§ ul Siret in vremuri de demult. Cernauti, 1927. P. 22, which supports the idea of a wooden and earthen military fortification at Siret, built by Sas on the hill that bares his name.
33 Chitescu L. Cercetarile arheologice de la Siret // Revista muzeelor § i monumentelor. Serie muzee. 1975. Vol. XII. Nr. 3. P. 51. Archaeological research carried out on Sasca hill, in the town of Siret, considered by many studies as evidence of Sas’s rule over these parts, has not identified the remains of a princely court or fortification (Spinei V, Asavoaie C. Date preliminare privind rezultatele sapaturilor din 1992 de la Siret // Arheologia Moldovei. 1993. Vol. XVI. P. 216). Therefore, the toponym Sasca may come, as other similar ones in Moldavia, from the name of the German population of Transylvania (cf. Spinei V. Moldova in secolele XI-XIV. Ed. a II-a. Chisinau, 1993. P. 309).
Maramure§. The first issue is the very method of removing Bogdan as voivode of Maramure§. Loyalty to Hungary, later manifested by some Maramure§ formations, entitles us to believe that Bogdan’s wish to gain, at any cost, complete political autonomy would have displeased not only the Hungarian royalty but also some local families of knezes. The official reason, also revealed by a Maramure§ diploma of 21 October 1343, remains the dispute between voivode Bogdan and the main authority of the kingdom in the area, nobleman Ioan of Kolcse, castellan of Visc34. Unfortunately, these brief data do not offer a clarifying image of the nature of conflict or what triggered it. Therefore, if we consider things strictly from the viewpoint of the Hungarian kingdom, Bogdan had not fulfilled the obligations that any knez or voivode of the intra-Carpathian space was supposed to have towards the suzerain power and, moreover, he had raised against an authority that was the Hungarian representative in the area.
A different but equally important reason, with deep implications on Hungary’s foreign policy, would be launching the Hungarian attack in the area east of the Carpathians ruled by Mongols, an action in which the Voivodeship of Maramure§ was to play a significant part. In these political circumstances, Bogdan did not seem to represent, to the new sovereign Louis I of Anjou, a guarantee that such a plan would succeed, since Maramure§ should not have been drawn into this action by granting large political autonomy, in contrast with the rest of the intra-Carpathian space, but rather by supporting a dismemberment of the nobiliary class by granting important privileges only to those feudal lords who showed any sign of faith towards the Angevine royalty.
The Hungarian royalty would continue, during the first decades of Louis I’s reign, to draw the petty and middle feudality of Maramure§, thus exerting constant pressure on the great families of knezes. Aware of the aim of these demarches undertaken by the Hungarian policy, Bogdan would try, during 1343−1349, to oppose the process of bringing the Maramure§ noblemen under strict royal control. He chose to gain over partisans from Maramure§, who were hostile to the king. The action was dangerous and risky considering that the former voivode’s military force, essential to achieving a power pole against Hungary, was not sufficiently prepared to guarantee the minimum success.
With meagre resources, the military plan of the Cuhean knez could not have overthrown the «new political order» established after his dismissal. The former voivode’s first carefully and thoroughly prepared action focused on the domains of Giule§ ti and Nyres from which he banished knez Giula and his six sons. The document dated 15 September 1349 points to the real cause of the attack, namely the refusal of the Giule§ ti knezes to support Bogdan35. Thus, the former voivode had tried to strike Louis I’s most loyal feudal lords and, probably, one of the main supporters of royal policy in the region. Lacking the support of his won family who had embraced the royal policy and surrounded by lords obedient to Hungary, the former voivode was in peril to fall victim to its policy of force. The failure of his latest expedition forced Bogdan to adopt a defensive policy which, under those circumstances, kept him safe from a Hungarian riposte targeted against him. The former Maramure§ voivode’s change of attitude explains and justifies why Louis I did not prepare an attack against the «rebel» Bogdan which could have led to his very banishment from Maramure§. In the given situation, an assumption to credit the existence of an understanding between the former voivode and the representatives of the royal policy should not be neglected. The last documented mention of
34Mihaly de Apqa I. Diplome maramure^ene din secolul XIV § i XV. P. 17.
35 Ibid. P. 26.
Bogdan in Maramure§ completes and largely confirms a part of such a development. The act dated 14 May 135 336 mentions the Cuhean knez bearing the title of voivode, while the word «unfaithful» used to describe him in the previously issued documents is no longer present.
Until recently, a part of historiography considered that the year of foundation of Moldavia and, implicitly, of Bodan’s departure from Maramure§ was 1359. The main counterargument can be found in a royal diploma dated 20 March 1360 in which the Hungarian king acknowledged the Maramure§ nobleman Drago§ of Giule§ ti's possession of several lands in recognition of his loyalty shown in restoring the «country of Moldavia"37. The text does not point to a loss of Hungarian positions east of the Carpathians, only to the reinstatement of royal control over the area with the assistance of some troops of Maramure§ noblemen led by Drago§ of Giule§ ti. Bogdan’s action in Moldavia should be necessarily connected with the removal of his family as rulers of Maramure§. After his dismissal, the highest office in Maramure§ had passed to his brother’s sons who had unconditionally accepted the royal policy. Nevertheless, the diploma of 24 June 1360 mentions Stephen, Bogdan’s nephew, as «our Maramure§ voivode». The banishment of the Hungarian domination east of the Carpathians could not but entail, shortly after, changes in the administration of the Voivodeship of Maramure§, for, otherwise, a dangerous political situation might have emerged, namely that in which members of the same family ruled two neighbouring political entities. Based on such an argument, we find, in the act issued on 2 February 135 638, about Stephen’s replacement with Balk, Sas’s son, which confirms the assumption that Bogdan’s action in Moldavia had succeeded by causing natural adjustments in the Maramure§ government as well.
The analysis of the two above-mentioned documents prompts us to believe that the foundation of the Moldavian state in 1359 is not a well-supported idea. Even the avouchment of the royal donation made to Drago§ of Giule§ ti in 136 439 indirectly confirms that it was only in the 60's of the 14th century that the confrontation for the liberation of the Moldavian space from the Hungarian domination should be placed. If we consider that the Maramure§ knez’s action in Moldavia took place after 1360, then we should bear in mind two chronological points, judged both in terms of the documentary analysis and of the foreign circumstances40. According to the first one, the former voivode’s arrival in Moldavia occurred in 1361. Dating is not without some doubts. Thus, if we agree that the assault against Sas and his family occurred over the course of this particular year, how easy can we accept the assumption that King Louis I waited three years to try to recover the Hungarian positions east of the Carpathians? This development remains difficult to prove, especially in terms of the respite given to Bogdan to consolidate his rule and efficiently organize the defence of the territory. The Hungarian king’s not being engaged, at the time, in other external conflicts reinforces our belief that the former Maramure§ voivode’s action should not be placed in 1361. The Angevine royalty was, above all, a military one, and, with both rules, we can speak about a policy of permanent conquests, fights that were intended or provoked by others41, so that, in this sketched picture, the lack of reaction is almost inexplicable.
36 Ibid. P 30.
37 Documenta Romaniae Historica. D. Relatii intre Tarile Romane. Vol. I. Bucure§ ti, 1977. P. 76−77.
38 Mihaly de Ap§ a I. Diplome maramure§ ene din secolul XIV § i XV P. 56.
39 Ibid. P. 53.
40 Both assumptions were introduced in the specialized literature by Gorovei §. S. Intemeierea Moldovei. Probleme controversate. P. 91−92.
41 Iorga N. Istoria romanilor din Ardeal § i Ungaria. Bucure§ ti, 2006. P. 101.
Returning to our discussion, it is incomprehensible how King Louis I preferred to keep as voivode of Maramure§, for four more years, the son of Bogdan’s brother, which was a huge mistake given that, after achieving the cohesion of the east-Carpathian elements, winning over new forces in Maramure§ did not seem such a difficult task especially since, about a decade before, there had been a political and military alliance between knez Bogdan and Stephen, the voivode of Maramure§. Therefore, the attitude of the Hungarian state, that had so long waited to install one of its most loyal lords in eastern Carpathians as prince of Maramure§, was a dangerous approach and, at the same time, a clue which rebuffs the assumption of Bogdan’s coming to Moldavia in 1361.
The last assumption we shall deal with in this study concerns the year 1363. This chronological reference point, where we can place the action of the former voivode of Maramure§ in Moldavia, proves a complex one in terms of foreign circumstances42. This period witnesses an aggravation of the conflict between Louis I and the Roman-German king Charles of Luxemburg, the cessation of military hostilities between the two parties being attested in 1364, by the conclusion of the Brno peace. In 1363, the Tartar power received, in its turn, a heavy blow when the Lithuanians managed to free Podolia after fierce fighting. The great duke of Lithuania, Olgierd, took thus advantage of the severe crisis instituted in the Mongol Khanate after Djonibek’s death. Consequently, external conflicts delayed the Hungarian military intervention east of the Carpathians which, probably, occurred only in 1364. Faced with his armies' unsuccess in Moldavia43, the Hungarian king decided to change his political orientation. However, he took the necessary precautions to replace the ruler of the Voivodeship of Maramure§ with a view to annihilating, from the start, future complications in the intra-Carpathian space. The 1365 proclamation of war against Wallachia that was no longer willing to respect the vassalage relationship with the kingdom clearly symbolizes a capitulation, if only temporary, of the east-Carpathian positions44. Therefore, in 1363, Bogdan penetrated into the territory east of the Carpathians and, following several battles, of which the documents of the time preserve no data, managed to remove the Hungarian domination.
One of the few sources, recently published, which contains references to Bogdan’s emergence on the political scene east of the Carpathians, speaks about the coming of the knez from Maramure§ to Moldavia with a colony made up of his own kinsfolk, attracted by the
42 We may add here the discovery of several coins issued by the king of Bohemia, Charles I, which helped the dating of the Baia fire in 1363 or 1364. The event can be connected with the initiation of Bogdan’s action against the Hungarian power centre east of the Carpathians. For further details, see Neamtu V, Cheptea S. Contacte intre centrul § i sud-estul Europei reflectate in circulatia monetara de la Baia (secolele XIV-XV) // Romanii in istoria universala. Vol. I. Ia§ i, 1986. P. 22−23.
43 The relationships between the first voivode of Moldavia, Bogdan, and the Tartar forces could take shape from the moment of his definitive passage east of the Carpathians. The mush disputed presence of khan Abdallah in the Odorheiu Vechi area during 1363−1365 might have led to a military agreement directed against the Hungarian kingdom, expected to intervene with forces in the region in order to re-establish its domination (for a more recent bibliography, see Gorodnenco A. P. Moldova de sud in a doua jumatate a secolului XIV // Tyragetia. S.n. Chi§ inau, 2008. Vol. II. Nr. 2. P. 83−84).
44 In 1364, at Cracow, a meeting between Casimir III of Poland, Louis I and the Roman-German Emperor Charles IV had already taken place. It concerned launching a crusade to annihilate the Ottoman danger, but the hidden purpose was to bring, under the Catholic Church authority, the Orthodox villages directly threatened by the Turkish danger. Hungary’s mission was to bring Wallachia and Bulgaria under direct control thus creating a barrier against the Turkish offensive (Istoria romanilor, published under the aegis of the Romanian Academy. Vol. IV. Bucure§ ti, 2001. P. 275). Consequently, renouncing the positions held east of the Carpathians was politically and strategically grounded.
beauty and richness of this land45. The term «colony» is, in our opinion, erroneously used in this chronicle as it presupposes the existence of a large number of people who accompanied the former voivode east of the Carpathians and managed to impose themselves politically, economically and administratively on the local population. Not many assumptions can be formulated regarding the military potential which Bogdan brought in Moldavia and the fact that this passage left no documentary traces makes us believe it occurred with a small number of people. Since 1353, the lord from Maramure§ had only been left (according to the new redistribution of the domain of Cuhea) with seven villages, which was placing him, hierarchically, in the category of the middle nobility of the voivodeship46. In conclusion, the army attending on Bogdan in Moldavia numbered between one hundred and two hundred people- he was probably awaited by much more significant military manpower provided by local political forces that were meant to help the former voivode to fulfil his goal: liberation of the space lying east of the Carpathians from the Hungarian domination47.
The Drago§ e§ ti family was unable to offer a long resistance in Moldavia, the Hungarian power centres being quickly annihilated, given that Sas’s sons, led by Balc, had fled to Transylvania. Naturally, the military tactics imposed by Bogdan did not take into account a long-lasting conflict which would have allowed the direct intervention of royal armies. The Hungarian counteroffensive started in early 1354 did not have, as mentioned before, the expected success. The military failure can be explained in various ways- however, in our opinion, one of Bogdan’s first achievements was to have comprised, in a first stage, the southwest of Moldavia. As for the northern region, liberation of Podolia from the Tartar influence increased the control of the local forces that were protected against any Mongol reactions. Thus, Bogdan’s victory against a Hungarian army that was much stronger than that led by Sas or Balc can be explained by a political and military stability achieved through the cohesion of local Moldavian forces. Louis I’s giving up a constant two-decade east-Carpathian policy can be justified by the strong communion of internal factors achieved in the extra-Carpathian space.
Therefore, in light of all the things mentioned so far, we strongly believe that, when analysing the process of foundation of the Moldavian state, we are bound to resort both to documentary or archaeological evidence and to arguments which rely on a logical sequence of events. This combination of the two elements, also present in this study, gives rise to scenarios, plausible or not, and it is perhaps this aspect that continues to arouse the interest of specialists, each of them trying to recompose, in their own vision, a historical process which lies at the foundation of the Romanian Middle Ages.
Данные о статье
Автор: Карчумару, Раду- преподаватель Отделения истории и литературы гуманитарного факультета Университета Валахии в Тырговиште, Тырговиште, Румыния, radu. carciumaru@gmail. com Название: Генезис средневекового государства на румынской территории: Молдавия Summary: С точки зрения исторического анализа, основание Молдавии было процессом, который осуществился к середине XIV века. Стремясь защитить восточные границы Венгерского королевства от
45 Cronica Moldovei de la Cracovia / Ed. by C. Rezachievici. Bucure§ ti, 2006. P. 130. Erroneously, in the source mentioned, Bogdan’s crossing into Moldavia has rather demographical and not political consequences.
46 Mihaly de Ap§ a I. Diplome maramure§ ene din secolul XIV § i XV. P. 31.
47 Pop I. -A. Din mainile valahilor schismatici. Romanii § i puterea in Regatul Ungariei medievale (secolele XIII-XIV). Bucure§ ti, 2011. P. 231.
татар, король Людовик I инициировал первую военную кампанию, в которой должны были участвовать румыны, проживавшие на соседней территории Марамуреша. Согласно данным хроник, после того как юг Молдавии был освобожден, марамурешский нобиль Драгош был поставлен в качестве главы военной марки в долине реки Молдовы. Сотрудничество между венгерской властью и локальными силами зашло в тупик во время правления Саса, наследника Драгоша. Именно в это время фиксируется первое восстание против военной администрации. Другой представитель марамурешской знати, Богдан, воспользовался этой ситуацией, так как он уже давно находился в конфликте с венгерской королевской властью. С помощью локальных молдавских сил Богдан сумел изгнать Саса с сыновьями, став, таким образом, первым воеводой политически независимой единицы, давшей начало второму средневековому румынскому государству — Молдавии.
Ключевые слова: средневековая Молдавия (Молдова), Марамуреш, воевода Драгош, королевство Венгрия.
Information about the article
Author: Carciumaru, Radu- Lecturer at Valahia University of Targoviste, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History and Letters, Targoviste, Romania, radu. carciumaru@gmail. com
Title: The Genesis of the Medieval State on the Romanian Territory: Moldavia
Summary: In terms of historical analysis, the foundation of Moldavia is a process which occurred towards the middle of the 14th century. As he had an interest in banishing the Tartars from the eastern borders of Hungary, King Louis I started the first military action which may have involved Romanian people living in the neighbouring territory of Maramures. According to chronicles, once the south of Moldavia had been released, a nobleman from Maramures, Dragos, was left here as head of the military march on the valley of the Moldova river. The cooperation between the Hungarian authority and the local forces reached an impasse during the rule of Sas, Dragon’s successor. It is now that the first revolt against the occupation forces is attested. Another nobleman from Maramures, Bogdan, would take advantage of this situation as he had long been in conflict with the Hungarian royalty. With the assistance of the local Moldavian forces, Bogdan managed to drive away Sas and his sons, thus becoming the first voivode of a politically independent entity which gave birth to the second medieval Romanian state: Moldavia.
Key Words: medieval Moldavia (Moldova), Maramures, voievode Dragos, kingdom of Hungary.
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