House of Basarab
|House of Basarab|
|Founder||Basarab I of Wallachia|
The Basarabs (also Bazarabs or Bazaraads, Romanian: Basarab pronounced [basaˈrab] ( )) were a family which had an important role in the establishing of the Principality of Wallachia, giving the country its first line of Princes, one closely related with the Mușatin rulers of Moldavia. Its status as a dynasty is rendered problematic by the official elective system, which implied that male members of the same family, including illegitimate offspring, were chosen to rule by a council of boyars (more often than not, the election was conditioned by the military force exercised by candidates). After the rule of Alexandru I Aldea (ended in 1436), the house was split by the conflict between the Dănești and the Drăculești, both of which claimed legitimacy. Several late rulers of the Craiovești claimed direct descent from the House after its eventual demise, including Neagoe Basarab, Matei Basarab, Constantin Șerban, Șerban Cantacuzino, and Constantin Brâncoveanu.
Rulers usually mentioned as members of the House include (in chronological order of first rule) Mircea the Elder, Dan II, Vlad II Dracul, Vlad III the Impaler, Vlad the Monk, Radu IV the Great, and Radu of Afumați.
Name and origins
Basarab I's name was originally Basarabai and lost the ending -a when it was borrowed into Romanian.
The name is likely of Cuman or Pecheneg Turkic origin and most likely meant "father ruler". Basar was the present participle of the verb "to rule", derivatives attested in both old and modern Kypchak languages. The Romanian historian Nicolae Iorga believed the second part of the name, -aba ("father"), to be an honorary title, as recognizable in many Cuman names, such as Terteroba, Arslanapa, and Ursoba.
Basarab's father Thocomerius also bore an allegedly Cuman name, identified as Toq-tämir, a rather common Cuman and Tatar name in the 13th century. The Russian chronicles around 1295 refer to a Toktomer, a prince of the Mongol Empire present in Crimea.
The Cuman or Pecheneg origin of the name is, however, only a conjecture and a matter of dispute among historians. Contemporaries constantly identified Basarab as a Vlach. Charles I of Hungary speaks of him as Bazarab infidelis Olacus noster ("Bazarab, our treacherous Vlach").
The Basarab name is the origin of several placenames, including the region of Bessarabia (part of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine) and a few towns, such as Basarabi in Romania, Basarabeasca in the Republic of Moldova, and Basarbovo in Bulgaria.
- S. Brezeanu, Identități și solidarități medievale. Controverse istorice, pages 135–138 and 371–386.
- Vásáry, István (2005). Cumans and Tatars: Oriental Military in the Pre-Ottoman Balkans, 1185-1365. Cambridge University Press. p. 153. ISBN 9780521837569.
- Vasary, Istvan, Cumans and Tatars, Cambridge University Press, 2005, pp. 149–155
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Bassarab.|
- Marek, Miroslav. "Basarab genealogy". Genealogy.EU.
- Marek, Miroslav. "Related Muşatins genealogy". Genealogy.EU.